Publisher i30 Media today launched Home Buying In 30 Minutes: Build your team, get your mortgage, and close the deal. The quick guide to doing real estate right (ISBN: 978-1-64188-025-1). If you are buying a house, condo, or multifamily property, housing expert Jim Morrison lays out you what you need to know before making one of the most important purchases of your lifetime.
In the book, Morrison explains how to hire a real estate team, secure financing, evaluate properties, and close the deal. Find out how to handle bidding wars and negotiations, and what red flags to watch out for when touring any property. This quick guide uses plain-English explanations and examples from the author’s decades of experience as a home inspector and award-winning journalist reporting on the housing sector.
Home Buying In 30 Minutes also covers the following topics:
- Best practices for building a professional real estate team
- How to determine how much home you can afford
- Mortgages and down payments, and how to get the lowest mortgage rates
- Tips for making an offer on a house
- When to waive real estate contingencies
- What to watch out for when touring homes
- How to work with home inspectors
- How defects impact negotiations
More information about Home Buying In 30 Minutes as well as online ordering options can be found on the companion website, homes.in30minutes.com. The site also includes a home buying blog and other resources for readers. The paperback retail price is $11.99, while the ebook edition is available on the Amazon Kindle and other devices for $7.99. A hardcover edition costs $19.99.
About the author
Jim Morrison is a former home inspector and award-winning reporter whose writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, Banker & Tradesman, and Forbes.com. Growing up just north of Boston, Morrison joined his father’s home inspection business the day after he graduated high school. He eventually took over the business and wrote about inspections and construction for his local newspaper.
After 25 years of inspections and a short stint as a rental agent and home inspector in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Morrison returned to the Boston area and launched a full-time writing career. He is married with three children and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications in the United States and overseas.
He won a 2014 New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) health reporting award and was part of a team that won the 2016 NENPA Distinguished Newspaper Award. He is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (www.ire.org) and the Society of Professional Journalists (www.spj.org). He is also a past president of the New England Chapter if the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Follow him on Twitter @JimNewsMorrison.
About In 30 Minutes guides
i30 Media is the publisher of IN 30 MINUTES guides – “Quick guides for a complex world.” Thousands of readers turn to IN 30 MINUTES guides to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from home-buying to social media. The tone is friendly and easy to understand, with step-by-step instructions and lots of examples. Top-selling titles include Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been jolted awake by a late night phone call. Raise your other hand if it’s been a wrong number, robocall, or crank call.
You can lower your hands now, and consider the options. To avoid these nuisances, some people power down their iPhones or turn off their ringers before they go to sleep. But what if you want to keep the phone on to respond to family or work emergencies?
Do Not Disturb has your back. This feature, available via Settings > Do Not Disturb as well as the quick options panel (swipe up from the bottom of the screen), lets you silence incoming phone calls and alerts. You can manually activate it when you need it, or you can schedule it to run for a set period every day.
Do Not Disturb also lets you allow calls from people on your contacts, or contacts marked as Favorites. There is even a setting that allows repeated calls to get through, which might be useful if someone is urgently trying to get through to you from a number not on your contact list.
There are some missing features, however, such as the ability to have different Do Not Disturb schedules for different days of the week—I like to sleep in on Saturdays! In such cases, the easiest workaround is to turn off the ringer, using the Ring/Silent switch on the edge of the iPhone.
Imagine if your bedside alarm clock suddenly began to go off at random times, sometimes dozens of times per day.
That’s basically the way iPhone Notifications work. A few can be tolerated, but if you turn your back, they’ll take over your iPhone, creating a seemingly endless stream of alerts, reminders, and promotions. It’s distracting and irritating.
Accessed via Settings > Notifications or when apps are first installed, notifications can make sounds or create short messages that appear on your iPhone’s lock screen or on a small banner at the top of the screen while the device is on. There is also a Notifications screen, accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen from the Home screen or lock screen (if you see the calendar view, swipe to the right to see recent notifications):
iPhone Notifications can apply to:
- Incoming emails, calls, and messages.
- Activity on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
- News, weather, and stock updates.
- Game activity and special offers.
- Bank, credit card, and Apple Pay transactions.
- Flight status and other travel alerts.
In theory, notifications alert you to information that matters. Practically speaking, many notifications range from useless to downright irritating. Remember, app developers generally want you to use their apps as often as possible, so notifications are designed to bring you back. Games and social media are the worst, with some apps issuing multiple alerts per day for the most banal reasons (I’m looking at you, Plants vs. Zombies 2!)
How to turn off iPhone notifications
Fortunately, the iOS operating system in your iPhone as well as many popular apps have ways of controlling what comes to you. If you find that a certain app is sending too many alerts, open the app and check the settings (look for a gear icon or three horizontal bars) to see if certain types of iPhone notifications can be turned off. For instance, some Facebook notifications are useful, such as when someone mentions you in a comment. Others are unnecessary or distracting, such as birthday reminders for all of your friends. Turn off the ones you don’t need.
A second way to turn off iPhone notifications is via Settings > Notifications. Here you can manage the way you are notified (via a message on the Lock screen, a sound, or change to the app icon) as well as turn off all notifications for a particular app or feature. Be careful here—while it may be tempting to turn off everything, you don’t want to silence critical features such as incoming phone calls or alerts from your banking app.
I also recommend turning on the iPhone’s Government Alerts, if available—these can contain critical notifications, such as extreme weather warnings or Amber Alerts.
This post was excerpted from an IN 30 MINUTES guide. To learn more, see our catalog.
As the owner of a small business that will be impacted by the recent Supreme Court decision on online purchases and local tax collection (South Dakota vs. Wayfair), I hope the resulting outcry will be a catalyst for streamlining tax payments to local authorities across the country. But I’m not holding my breath.
In a perfect world, states would make things easier for out-of-state small businesses to pay taxes. Changes could include:
- Ending registration requirements at the state level
- Only taking annual filings instead of demanding monthly or quarterly filings
- Using a 1-page form for submitting taxes
- Accepting digital submissions & payments
But these are old-school state governments we’re talking about. Many are stuck in the past, or are restricted in their ways of thinking about the future.
And then there is the ugly fact that some bureaucrats and legislators LOVE to stick it to outsiders. Example: New Hampshire toll booths strategically placed along the Massachusetts border to collect money from vacationers and commuters using small stretches of state or interstate highways. Or, state-level protectionism for local businesses. I’ve encountered this trying to sell books and educational aids to local school districts in the South. Either you can’t sell, or the paperwork requirements are astounding. These aren’t taxes, but they illustrate the mindsets of many state legislatures and bureaucracies when it comes to dealing with out-of-staters.
When it comes time for state lawmakers and officials to craft tax laws for out-of-state small businesses post-#SDvWayfair, they won’t necessarily be thinking of making it easier to file. They’ll think: Why not adapt existing frameworks/processes, with a dollop of extra red tape on top?
Regarding technology such as digital submissions of tax data and easy online payments: If the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (the agency my Massachusetts corporation deals with) is anything to go by, small businesses will basically be dealing with tech that’s 10 years out of date in terms of functionality, and twice as difficult to use as commercial platforms.
Monumental changes in the nation’s legal framework are often an opportunity to make improvements in the way laws are implemented. But when it comes to the South Dakota vs. Wayfair Supreme Court ruling, I fear they’ve just given 50 state governments and assorted territories an excuse to screw the little guy.