Anyone who owns a home understands that in addition to making your monthly mortgage payment on interest and principal, you will be required to maintain and pay for homeowner’s insurance and will need to pay any property taxes or other assessments required by local jurisdictions. If these payments are not made, then the property (which is also the collateral for your loan) will be at risk, liens may be levied, and/or the property will not be protected if damaged by fire, storm or other cause. Continue reading “What is Escrow and Why Do I Need it?”
As a seasoned business owner, you know how tough it is to grow your business. Some years you work your tail off just to squeak out another percent. But growth can come easier if you adjust your model to one with high scalability.
Your ability to scale depends mostly on what you do. If your business depends on your skillset, scaling will be difficult. There are only a certain number of hours in a day you can Continue reading “Is Your Business Scalable? 6 Tips to Grow”
Investment in rental properties, especially residential properties, is increasingly being seen as a hot new earnings opportunity. In the wake of the economic down turn, as the rate of home ownership in the U.S. has fallen, the rental market has grown steadily. With mortgage lending standards tighter and cash for potential home buyers more scarce, the number of renters has climbed, pushing rents ever higher in most Continue reading “Are rental properties REALLY a smart investment?”
For most borrowers PMI (or Private Mortgage Insurance) is just one of the many mysterious charges that get folded into their total monthly mortgage payment. But anyone in the market for a new home, and the inevitable mortgage that comes with it, needs to understand how it works, and how it can be avoided. Simply put, PMI is an insurance policy that your lender takes out as protection against the possibility that someday you will no longer be able to make your mortgage payments, except that it is your responsibility to pay the monthly premiums. Also, the lender is typically the beneficiary, not you or your heirs. Continue reading “PMI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”
It’s not often that the government gives you a break on your taxes worth thousands of dollars over several decades, and it would be foolish indeed not to take advantage of it. But that is apparently what a surprising number of Americans are doing year after year by ignoring the tax benefits of an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Although there are different types of IRAs with different restrictions, they all basically allow you to put away a sizeable chunk of your income each year and avoid paying taxes on any gains you earn on it for as long as you hold the account, which is usually until you retire. Continue reading “IRAs – Why You Should Have One!”
Like many businesses here in Northwest Connecticut, Litchfield Bancorp is asked to donate to and support local non-profits, community development projects and schools in our area. Of course, giving back is important to ensure these organizations are able to fiscally thrive, but to us here at LBC it’s far more than that. Continue reading “Giving Back…It’s just part of our Culture here at Litchfield Bancorp.”
The most important part of making a profitable return on your real estate investment is finding good tenants. It’s also the hardest part. Your rental may be in perfect condition in a renter-friendly area, but if you fill it with irresponsible tenants, your margin will erode. Continue reading “How to Find and Keep Great Tenants in Your Multi-Family Home”
Conflicts are a normal part of every business, but family-owned businesses present a unique set of challenges. It’s quite common for business issues to spill to the family realm and vice versa, infecting both types of relationships.
Dealing with these complex relationship issues should be a fundamental part of your business plan. The problems are inevitable, so plan for them in advance. Continue reading “Handling Conflict in Your Family Owned Business”
For a family business, the transition from one generation to the next is perhaps the largest (and most overlooked) challenge it will ever face. The transition doesn’t just cause stress, controversy, and bruised relationships. Only 30% ever survive the second generation, regardless of industry, location, or the current economic landscape.
The transition from one generation to another is an issue of relationships and expectations of the family members and non-family numbers. The health and success of the business depend on careful transition planning and healthy communication. This means it’s wise to develop a Succession Plan as a fundamental part of your overall Business Plan. Continue reading “How to Transition a Family Business to the Next Generation”
Working with members of your family can be a rewarding experience, but it can also present some challenges. If a family member fails to contribute properly, the managers/owner may not be quick to correct the behavior. After all, how can one be harsh with family?
If you find yourself in a position where one family member isn’t pulling their weight, use these six steps to improve the health of your business. Continue reading “Family-Owned Business Challenge: A Family Member Isn’t Pulling Their Weight”