Tips for Opening an Automobile Repair Shop

One of the most lucrative businesses today is automotive repair. This is due to the need for mechanics as the number of car owners increases. For those who are mechanically inclined, opening a repair shop can result in a profitable business.

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Setting Up Shop

Choose a site for the shop that is easily accessed, near a busy area, and with plenty of parking. Often an existing building that needs some simple modifications can be the least expensive choice. Make certain the building is large enough to accommodate several automobiles. The ceilings should high enough for a hydraulic lift. Enough room for storage of tools and other items that are crucial to your business is another important consideration.

The building chosen will need to have doors that are large enough to bring the vehicles in for repair. They also must be sturdy to keep the automobiles and tools safe. One example of a company offering rolling steel doors jacksonville fl is George P. Coyle & Sons, Inc. A waiting area for clients is another good business move.

Employees and Equipment

If needed, hire a certified mechanic. This will be beneficial because it shows potential customers that your business is dependable and trustworthy. The right tools will be needed. Purchase the basics and some of the specialty tools that are required for common automotive jobs. If a specific tool is needed, there are several places that rent tools. More tools can be purchased later as the business begins to show a profit.

Permits, Licenses, and Insurance

Make sure that all required permits and licenses are received before the opening. Local, as well as state permits, may be required. Many people choose to consult an attorney at this point to ensure they have everything that will be needed. Insurance is another requirement to protect your investment.

Advertising

Once the repair shop is set up, it will be important to market your business. Offering a discount on a couple of services for the first few days is one way to attract potential customers. Social media is another excellent marketing tool. A grand opening is another way to let people in the area know that the business is open.

Opening an automotive repair shop is a big step, but being prepared is half of the process. It can be very profitable if all the bases are covered before the opening date. Preparation is also the key to prevent unforeseen problems at a later date.

Bring Out The Explorer In You With Online T Shirts For Men.

Have the online t shirts for men and have the organic soft cotton t shirts on your body and live comfortably.

If you want to have unique designs with you, and do not know where to find them then just log in to some fashionwebsites and get them. These companies who sell you online t shirts for menprovide you with designs that distinguish one’s taste from the other. These t shirts online that are available online are made up of organic cotton and many people has problem in understanding what is actually an organic cotton is. Well, organic cotton is nothing but a substitute of a synthetic fibre and animal fibre. These cottons are made up of GMO seeds and they produce cottons that are not only soft but at the same time they are also very comfortable too. This improve the ecological balance in the environment and not only the fabric that is been sued are environment friendly but at the same time the colours or the dyes that are used are natural. And if you want to have one then you will just have to open your computer because you can now have t shirts online for men.

Crew and V- neck t shirts

These are the most popular t shirt necklines. The crew neck t shirt has a round neckline. This type of neckline forms a uniform ring around the neck. The crew neck t shirt is superb for slim men. Its round shape makes them look wider and heavier. It is also ideal for tall men. The crew neck t shirt is also ideal for men who have small chests. If you have sloped shoulders, the crew neck t shirt is also the best option. This is because this type of neckline causes the eyes to see an illusion of wide squared shoulders. As a result, you seem manlier and well proportioned. This type of t shirt neck is also superb if you have a long neck or you have a narrow face. This is because the round neckline balances out the sharp angles on your face. It also causes an illusion of a shorter neck and thus a heavier body.

The V neck t shirt has a neckline that forms a V in the front. The V dips a few inches below the collar bone. Moreover, this neckline makes the neck look longer. This makes this type of neckline great for short men. The long neck style makes them look taller. This type of neckline also makes the men look slimmer. Thus, tall men should wear V neck t shirts to slim down their body size. Moreover, they balance out round faces. The V neck angle provides a sharp frame that complements a round face beautifully. Not only does it do this, it also slims down a wide face.The t shirt is a timeless and permanent staple in every man’s wardrobe.

Most popular Sedan Cars in India 2015

Demand for sedans cars have increase in recent times with people want more luggage space for long trips with family. The availability of strong diesel models has accounted for growth in this segment and most of the automobile makers are giving importance to sedans.

Some of the most popular sedan cars with both petrol and diesel engines in India during 2015 are:

Sedan Cars in India

Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire (Rs 5.43 lakh – 8.19 lakh)

Maruti’s Swift Dzire is one of the top selling sedans. The petrol model is fitted with a 1.2 liter engine chunking out a maximum power of 84.3 Ps and a peak torque of 115 Nm. The diesel model have a 1.3 liter DDiS diesel engine which produces a maximum power of 75 Ps at 4,000 rpm and a pinnacle torque of 190 Nm at 4,000 rpm.

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Tata Zest (Rs 5.11 lakh – Rs 8.47 lakh0

Tata Motor’s Zest is one of the most successful cars among its other models. The Petrol version has a 1.2 liter DOHC engine producing 76 bhp and a maximum torque of 140 Nm between 1750 The diesel version is fitted with a 1.3 liter 4 cylinder VGT diesel engine which develops a peak power of 90 Ps at 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 200 Nm between 1750 and 3,000 rpm.

Honda Amaze (Rs 5.58 lakh and Rs 8.71 lakh)

This much sought after sedan from Honda Motors is powered by a 1.2 SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine developing a maximum power of 88 Ps at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 109 Nm at 4,500 rpm. The diesel car is loaded with a 1.5 liter DOHC iDTEC engine producing a pinnacle power of 100 Ps at 3,600 rpm and a maximum torque of 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

Honda City (Rs 7.99 lakh – Rs 12.50 lakh)

Honda City is a technically advance car. The petrol sedan is fitted with a 1497 cc i-VTEC engine which produces 119 Ps of sheer power at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm. The diesel have a 1.5 liter DOHC 16 valve DTEC engine which develops 98.6 bhp of power at 3,600 rpm and a peak torque of 200 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

Chevrolet Sail (Rs 5.80 lakh – Rs 8.49 lakh)

The petrol version of this specious sedan is fitted 1.2 liter 4-cylinder SMARTEC engine which produces a maximum power of 84.2 bhp at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 108.05 Nm at 8,000 rpm. The diesel car is powered by a 1.3 liter CRDi engine which chunks out a peak power of 74 bhp at 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 190 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

Also check Mahindra Xylo on carsexpert.in and Honda India Bikes at Bikeportal.in

How India is Being Versatile About Car Valuation Industry

Car is a vehicle that offers not only comfort travel but is also held as the status icon. This is the reason that all of us cherish the idea of owning a car or upgrading to a new and improved model. The finesse in the comfort catering and technology is constantly improving and this further adds to the car buying; the rising social prosperity being the fundamental reason that is driving the new car market. However, there are still millions in this world that cannot afford the new ride. They try to fulfill their aspirations through a used car that is available for much lesser price tag. India car valuation services are making possible these deals for ever increasing numbers of individuals and families who are using the escorts offered from these. Therefore such services have emerged as the necessary adjunct for the seekers of used cars.

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Why India is showing up a fine boom emerging for the used cars?

India is known for the characteristic differentiation in the economic potentials of the individual households. The economy here is complex and employs the social strata from top to bottom. All the individuals are not earning high and fat and they constitute the middle and weaker sections of the society who try to make up their life and living in consonance with spending constraints. Car being a status & luxury icon in the society lures everyone. Those unable to make the heavy spending have therefore found the used cars concept as very much attractive. This gets more attractive when there is a fine supply of the good cars at lower prices. The upper gentries keep pushing the recently purchased rides down in this market because they want to have the new ones as early as possible. We therefore find that in India, there is good demand supply match in the used cars market and hence the segment is booming. India car valuation services are offering the escorts to the potential buyers and benefiting from the good demand.

The reasons for the growing demand of the India car valuation services –

 Car valuation services are growing because of the increased demand for the used cars here in India. We have noted the reasons for that above. These services are being offered almost as the value addition. Most of the used car seekers are those who have never owned one! They are looking for their first ride. Therefore they mostly remain ignorant about the parameters that should be looked into. Qualitysome and dedicated car valuation services and interfaces escort the buyers to have good deal and conversely save them from entering into a bad deal; the offers for which are available in plentitudes.

The resonance being offered by the India car valuation services

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The car valuation services have grown significantly to cater to the emerging consumer bases. These services are trying to match up with the aspirations of the buyers. More of the choices as also lesser prices are the twin demands of the buyers and services providers try to optimize these through their online databases and networking with the sellers. The websites have fluently navigable interfaces and offer the complete details including the picture gallery maneuvering through dedicated microsites. Additionally, the expert counsel is also provided! Real time facilitation for the test drive is secured.

More value addition & differentiations

The sophistication in the car valuation services has increased. Every used car that is displayed is tagged with very in depth details that make the deal objective. The buyer can have complete satisfaction before buying; sometimes such type of catering even exceeds the new car services! The completion of the formalities and paper work is secured by the service firm that of course charges a reasonable value for such a service. Also, extended warranties and the like services are being offered. The refurbishments are also offered at minimal prices. Many a times the seller is convinced for such spending so as to make the deal attractive!

The two are growing hand in hand!

The used cars market and car valuation services are growing hand in hand in India. Both are fueling each other. While the service providers are attracting the new buyers, the seekers are riding upon the good escorts and facilitations in their favor. We would find strengthening of the used cars market in India as more of the social classes are getting ready for a second hand car.

You’re Saying It Wrong (and 7 Other Myths We Debunk)

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New Orleans might be one of the most beloved, most despised, and least understood cities in America, all rolled into one. Love it? You probably think every day is Mardi Gras, when hand grenade–swilling locals party on Bourbon Street. Despise it? See the above—plus, you probably think it’s America’s most dangerous city, just waiting to separate unsuspecting tourists from their beloved fanny packs.

But we’re here to tell you it’s neither.

New Orleans is back in a big way, and whether you’re thinking of relocating—or just planning a getaway—separate the fact from the fiction before you head to the Crescent City.

Myth No. 1: It’s “Nawlins.”

Truth: Nope. Thanks largely to horrible accents in movies such as “The Big Easy,” many people assume that locals call it “Nawlins.” They don’t. It’s “New Orleans.” Say it with us now: New-Or-lens. Plain and simple.

 

Myth No. 2: New Orleanians are always drunk.

Truth: New Orleans does have some lax outdoor drinking laws and, yes, there aredrive-thru daiquiri stands, but locals know about a little thing called moderation.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Louisiana had the seventh lowest rate of alcohol poisoning deaths in the nation.

Myth No. 3: Tourists aren’t safe.

Truth: The city has crime (as all cities do), but New Orleans isn’t as dangerous as many out-of-towners think. In fact, in 2014 the murder rate was lower than it had been in more than 40 years. There has also been a big push to prevent lesser crimes. Local businessman Sydney Torres IV recently bankrolled a private policing force in the French Quarter, and the New Orleans Police Department is in the midst of a huge recruiting campaign.

Myth No. 4: New Orleans is below sea level.

Truth: This is only partly true. There are some disputes, but most experts believe only about half the city is below sea level, with some areas much higher. But it won’t always be that way. Because here’s the truth: New Orleans is sinking. Factors such as coastal erosion (a football field’s worth per hour) and poor engineering are causing more of the city to slip below sea level. So, this myth might eventually become reality. Just not tomorrow.

Myth No. 5: New Orleans hasn’t rebounded since Hurricane Katrina.

Truth: Even 10 years later, locals are still asked if New Orleans ever came back after Katrina. In fact, the city has been hard at work adding businesses, improving infrastructure, and repairing homes. The city’s population has also been on a steady incline, up to 78% of its pre-Katrina population, according to The Advocate. Many of those numbers include new residents, happy to call New Orleans home.

Myth No. 6: It isn’t cosmopolitan.

Truth: Tara Elders, wife of actor Michiel Huisman (of “Game of Thrones,” “Orphan Black,” and “Nashville” fame) made waves last year when she told a New York Times reporter, “New Orleans is not cosmopolitan. There’s no kale here.”

The fallout was huge, with locals dubbing the situation #KaleGate. In fact, New Orleans does have kale—and a bunch of other fancy cosmopolitan things—thankyouverymuch, Tara.

Esquire magazine recently named Shaya, a modern take on Israeli fare, as 2015’s best new restaurant in America. New Orleans has also hosted a world-class film festival for the past 26 years, and the city has a 30,000-square-foot farmers market in the works. If that ain’t fancy, we don’t know what is.

Myth No. 7: The swamp is right outside the door.

Truth: Thanks again to the magic of Hollywood, many people visiting (or moving) to New Orleans for the first time are excited to see the swamp. They can—once they hop on a Cajun Tour bus and head about 30 miles out of town. Thanks partly to nature and partly to human engineering, New Orleans is on dry land.

Myth No. 8: It’s hot and humid, and hurricanes happen all the time.

Truth: Hurricane season lasts from June through November, but many years New Orleans is spared any major storms. (The last hurricane to make landfall in the area wasHurricane Isaac in 2012.) And it’s almost never humid! OK, no—that’s a lie. It’s alwayshumid.

6 Ways to Uncover the Truth About Your New Home—Before It’s Too Late

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You set up appointments to visit your potential new home more times than you can count (you’re secretly wondering if your agent is going to change her number). You did so many drive-bys, your would-be neighbors are getting nervous. You took endless video of every room inside, and you measured all the spaces so you can start doing some late-night obsessive-compulsive furniture shopping. You’ve done all your due diligence, right?

We hate to break it to you, but maybe not.

There are a few more things to look out for—a few nagging annoyances that you might not notice right away but, unchecked, could eat at your soul day and night. Certainly, not all of the issues are deal breakers. But given the choice between dealing with them now or eventually becoming a bit too familiar with that bar on your (soon-to-be) new corner as you mull over what might have been, you might want to choose the former. Deal with the extra-fine details now!

Here’s how to make extra sure your new home won’t drive you crazy.

Drive by at night

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before (spoiler alert: You have!). Because it’s really,really good advice. A lot of basic but important questions (Is there a streetlight shining directly in my window? Do the neighbors throw late-night 80s hair metal parties?) can be answered with a quick after-hours drive-by (or two). Yeah, we know you’re already doing them during the day. Do them at night too—on the weekend as well as a weeknight.

“Find out what kind of noise levels there are before making your final decision,” saysAmy Cook, a San Diego Realtor®.

Do not skip this step: Discovering these problems after closing could give you an endless headaches.Like, real ones—migraines that won’t go away.

Take a walk and ask lots of questions

To be truly thorough, you need to get out of the car and hit the pavement. Repeatedly.

“If you really want to learn about the neighborhood and find out all the gossip, good and bad, walk around the neighborhood meeting people and asking them questions,” says Fort Collins, CO, Realtor® Angie Spangler.

Of course, this strategy works best if your neighborhood is sociable; in a suburban neighborhood without sidewalks or much daytime activity, you might not learn much (and you might freak people out a bit). Some moderation is key. And if things are tooquiet, maybe this hood isn’t for you. Or maybe it’s perfect. Some shoe leather reporting will give you a better indication of how you’ll fit in.

Understand the zoning

If there’s one thing that can prevent surprise heartaches, it’s understanding the neighborhood’s zoning laws.

Even if there are no restaurants or bars nearby today, commercial zoning allows their presence, meaning you might be right behind a noisy club five years down the line. Is your potential new home in a designated historic district? That can affect future renovation plans. In a mixed-use district? Some people don’t mind having shops and restaurants just around the corner, but you know best if that “some people” is you.

Spangler recalls selling a home to a couple a few blocks from what’s now Fort Collins’ Old Town—a raucous strip of retail shops and bars.

“They were upset that there’s commercial going in all around them,” she says. “I took for granted they had a good understanding of what to expect.”

Consult with the city’s departments

Speaking with your city’s planning, water management, and police departments can uncover vital information about your potential home—such as its flood hazard, which you may not notice in the dry season but can put your home at risk when it rains.

How close are you to emergency services and what’s the average response time? Is there a big commercial project underway nearby that could increase traffic? Do the crime statistics concern you?

Scope out social media resources

Apps such as Nextdoor help you keep an eye on the neighborhood and can be a valuable resource before moving in. Scour other apps and online resources, join local Facebook groups, and sign up for neighborhood email lists to find out the most common complaints and concerns of your new neighbors.

Pay attention to nearby homes

If you don’t have a trained real estate eye, it might be easy to overlook your neighbor’s unmowed lawn—but ignoring it might mean missing a vital clue to the area’s health and upkeep.

“As a real estate agent, it’s easy for me to identify the properties that are rentals or show lack of upkeep,” Spangler says.

If houses in the neighborhood aren’t well-cared for, it could affect property values down the line. Caveat Emptor. And that means you.

5 Home-Buying Nightmares Your Title Insurance Could Prevent

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Imagine that you have found your dream home. Your offer is accepted, you close the deal, you move in. Then, just as you’ve started to make the house your own, the mail carrier delivers news that turns your world upside down: There was a lien against a previous owner, and now it’s been passed on to you.

That’s exactly what happened to Lori Moore and her husband.

“We had barely gotten everything settled in the house when two weeks later we received a letter from an attorney about a pre-existing lien on the house against the prior owner that now carried over to us as the new owners,” says the Louisville, KY, resident. The lien had been missed during the title search process because, Moore says, the county clerk had filed it in a way that made it hard to find.

At first, Moore says, they weren’t too concerned.

“We remembered paying for title insurance, but our Realtor® explained that policy only covered the lending institution for any title problems, not us as the homeowners.”

The Moores were left holding the bag for $2,000 to pay off the lien and attorney costs.

“If we would have bought [owner’s] title insurance to protect us, we wouldn’t have had to come up with that money as newlyweds and new homeowners,” Moore says.

As Moore and her husband learned the hard way, there are two types of title insurance policies. Title insurance, in general, offers protection against any problems with the title, or legal ownership status, of the home. Any lien against a home or competing claim of ownership could jeopardize your financial stake in it, as well as your mortgage lender’s. So the lender’s policy covers the lender’s stake, while the owner’s policycovers your own.

A bank will typically do a title search as part of the mortgage approval process to determine what, if any, legal claims and rights are attached to the house—and, ideally, prevent these kinds of problems. But no matter how thorough, a title search can’t rule out a relative or heir of a seller popping up with paperwork that appears to give them claim to a property. And sometimes, as in the Moores’ case, there are paperwork snafus. Hence the insurance.

Second sellers

Sometimes a distant relative—or an ex-spouse—may surface with a claim that they actually own the property, in whole or in part, and that the seller had no right to sell it to you.

If that happens, a judge could confirm the party’s claim, which means you could be faced with buying them out, having to negotiate, or … setting a bathroom schedule with a new roommate, says Marc Israel, president and chief counsel of MIT National Land Services, a title company in New York City. And say good-bye to that equity.

“A buyer could potentially be out their down payment and any principal paid toward the house,” says Dave Zawadzki, senior account executive at Proper Title, LLC, in Northbrook, IL.

If a judge rules in favor of someone staking claim to a house, the lender’s title insurance policy will only pay for court costs incurred by the bank, and it will reimburse the bank for what you owe on the mortgage if the sale is deemed null and void, Zawadzki says. An owner’s title insurance policy will cover your financial losses, such as attorney’s fees and court costs, even if you have to move out of the house.

Nudging neighbors

The adage that good fences make good neighbors might not hold true if it’s discovered that someone put up a fence, deck, shed, pool, driveway, etc., on your new property. And should that happen before you close, Israel says title insurance will pay the cost of any legal battle or efforts to settle the matter out of court and have the item removed from property that is legally yours.

Hidden mortgages

Just as with liens, it’s possible a title search might not uncover a mortgage until after closing because it was posted incorrectly with the county recorder, Israel says.

“Because the buyer received a clear title at closing, if an owner title insurance policy is in place, the buyer just has to file a claim and the policy will pay off that lingering mortgage,” Israel says.

Unpaid taxes

Zawadzki says that even though a tax search might come up with no delinquent taxes on a property, that doesn’t mean a buyer couldn’t subsequently receive notification of delinquent back taxes after closing. And that bill could be heavy—unless the buyer has owner’s title insurance.

“An owner’s title insurance policy would pay for this,” he says, “because the buyer was given paperwork that indicated taxes were paid.”

The point of purchase

Israel says a title insurance policy is issued the day of closing. It’s paid for then, too.

“The cost can’t be built into the mortgage,” he says.

The one-time premium cost varies by location. “Every state regulates the price of title insurance, which is always tied to the purchase price and/or mortgage amount,” Israel says.

Even if the chances are low that past owners or old tax bills might surface, it’s worth it to at least have a conversation with your attorney and/or title company about title insurance. If you’re on the fence about plunking down money for a policy, Israel suggests reviewing your finances. Ask yourself how you would handle the financial and possible relocation expenses if you were to suddenly awaken to a title-related nightmare.

These Neighbors Nearly Ruined Our Lives—Here’s What We Learned

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Neighbors from hell. They’re the stuff of movies, TV, Stephen King stories—and real life, unfortunately.

Some of these nearby strangers in our midst make for funny anecdotes (usually well after the fact). Some prompt us to seek intervention from psychiatric professionals, bartenders, exorcists, and even law enforcement officials. And some of them have forced major life decisions.

As it turns out, several of us here at realtor.com® have experienced major neighborly challenges. Here are five of our most harrowing stories—and the lessons we learned from them, whether we moved out or fought back (in legal and appropriate ways, of course). We don’t actually suggest you go all Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in “Neighbors”—unless you have no choice.

 

1. The scary grouch

“I was renting a top-floor apartment in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond District, a sleepy neighborhood. I’d only been living there a few days before the shouting began … and the name-calling … and the banging with a broomstick from below. As I quickly learned, my unit had a high turnover because the ornery old guy who lived directly below never left his house and despised noise.

Apparently, the building suffered damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, and the owners didn’t bother to put soundproofing back in when they made repairs. And so every step I took and every cough I coughed could be heard by the seething man downstairs. One night after a particularly terrifying verbal assault, I called the police. But they couldn’t do anything about screaming unless there was a direct threat involved. The only way I could escape the situation was to move. –Brittney Gilbert, audience development editor

Takeaway: Ask whether your potential new apartment has soundproofing or sound-absorbing features in place.There are a few DIY tricks you can do to block noise through ceilings and walls, such as adding rugs, bookshelves, and other heavy pieces of furniture as a buffer between the walls. And use rugs (mandated by law in some cities) to mute your footsteps.

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2. The late-night monsters

“The house next door to us was vacant for at least six months. Then it sold and was used as a flophouse. There were 10–15 people living there, coming and going at all hours. It was all young men—some you’d see for only a few months. They used their porch as the laundry room and enjoyed excruciatingly loud parties. The guy who parked his car in front of our house used to come home at 2 a.m. with his stereo at full volume. It woke me up every single night.

We tried to talk with a couple of them but never got anywhere. We called the police a couple of times, but not much came from that either. We dealt for almost two years before we couldn’t take it any longer—and got the hell out. We’d been wanting a larger house anyway, and this forced the issue.” –Erik Gunther, senior editor

Takeaway: Sometimes there’s not much you can do about neighbors who are simply annoying. After you’ve tried reasoning with them—but before you call the movers—try calling the police when the noise ordinance is being violated. Take note of the time frame in which the violation repeats itself (e.g., bagpipes practice at 11:30 every night) so the police can catch those next-door maniacs in the act. Noise-canceling headphones, meditation, and litigation are other options.

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3. The odiferous ignoramus

“My neighbor did an illegal renovation of her kitchen that had her stove venting into my bathroom, disgusting as that sounds (and was). She loved cooking heavily seasoned cuisine of undefinable ethnic origins, so my bathroom always smelled like a Third World spice market. I complained to the co-op board, and she started harassing me in the hallway. When I finally stood up to her and told her to leave me alone, she sicced her husband on us. He kicked my door so hard it left a shoe mark and dent—and so when the police came they took my side. Then the real battle began, except I decided to completely ignore her and her aggression. It drove her mad. She actually ended up putting her apartment on the market and moving out before she sold.” –Rosie Amodio, consulting editor

Takeaway: Avoid engaging with furious people. They’re terrifying and sometimes exude strange odors.

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4. The tattletale

“My neighbor almost got me kicked out of my apartment. I was dog-sitting a friend’s dog who wasn’t very house-trained. So on our way downstairs to his morning walk, the pooch decided to pee on my neighbor’s welcome mat. Somehow my neighbor figured out right away. … She freaked and immediately set out to squeal to the landlord. I know this because by the time I got to her door 15 minutes later with a check to cover the expense for a new welcome mat, she had a letter in hand she was about to fax over. Pets weren’t allowed in the building, so that note would’ve got me booted! Luckily, I caught her before that happened.” –Judy Dutton, senior advice editor

Takeaway: If you fear you’ve rubbed a neighbor the wrong way, nip it in the bud immediately. A genuine apology can go a long way in making for a happy home life. And train your damn dogs.

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5. The lunatic

“I was having a party in my apartment, and a small group of us decided to go up to the roof. My building was on a corner and, like most Brooklyn rooftops, connected to other buildings, so there was another party going on a few rooftops away. They weren’t particularly loud. Or so I thought.

Apparently, a longtime resident of the neighborhood had been incredibly annoyed by the multidirectional noise coming from the rooftop all night. It was dark, and I didn’t see him clearly, and thought it was a joke one of my neighbors was pulling when I saw something being swung at me. It turned out it was an infuriated man with a baseball bat. He struck me hard in the back of the leg and started swinging wildly, landing glancing blows on a few others, before we could run down the stairs. We called the cops, and when they arrived I led them upstairs, where the guy was still standing with the bat. When he saw me he yelled, ‘Oh, you come back for some more?!’ as a cadre of police officers spilled out from behind me. The look on his face as his anger melted into abject fear took some of the sting away from the huge bruise I had for months.” –Greg Chow, photo editor

Takeaway: Remember the ground rules of shared common spaces. You may think a rooftop is the ideal spot for your summer evening entertaining, but don’t forget that your rooftop party pad is likely another person’s ceiling. Also, watch out for people carrying baseball bats.

New Orleans: You’re Saying It Wrong

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

New Orleans might be one of the most beloved, most despised, and least understood cities in America, all rolled into one. Love it? You probably think every day is Mardi Gras, when hand grenade–swilling locals party on Bourbon Street. Despise it? See the above—plus, you probably think it’s America’s most dangerous city, just waiting to separate unsuspecting tourists from their beloved fanny packs.

But we’re here to tell you it’s neither.

New Orleans is back in a big way, and whether you’re thinking of relocating—or just planning a getaway—separate the fact from the fiction before you head to the Crescent City.

Myth No. 1: It’s “Nawlins.”

Truth: Nope. Thanks largely to horrible accents in movies such as “The Big Easy,” many people assume that locals call it “Nawlins.” They don’t. It’s “New Orleans.” Say it with us now: New-Or-lens. Plain and simple.

 

Myth No. 2: New Orleanians are always drunk.

Truth: New Orleans does have some lax outdoor drinking laws and, yes, there aredrive-thru daiquiri stands, but locals know about a little thing called moderation.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Louisiana had the seventh lowest rate of alcohol poisoning deaths in the nation.

Myth No. 3: Tourists aren’t safe.

Truth: The city has crime (as all cities do), but New Orleans isn’t as dangerous as many out-of-towners think. In fact, in 2014 the murder rate was lower than it had been in more than 40 years. There has also been a big push to prevent lesser crimes. Local businessman Sydney Torres IV recently bankrolled a private policing force in the French Quarter, and the New Orleans Police Department is in the midst of a huge recruiting campaign.

Myth No. 4: New Orleans is below sea level.

Truth: This is only partly true. There are some disputes, but most experts believe only about half the city is below sea level, with some areas much higher. But it won’t always be that way. Because here’s the truth: New Orleans is sinking. Factors such as coastal erosion (a football field’s worth per hour) and poor engineering are causing more of the city to slip below sea level. So, this myth might eventually become reality. Just not tomorrow.

Myth No. 5: New Orleans hasn’t rebounded since Hurricane Katrina.

Truth: Even 10 years later, locals are still asked if New Orleans ever came back after Katrina. In fact, the city has been hard at work adding businesses, improving infrastructure, and repairing homes. The city’s population has also been on a steady incline, up to 78% of its pre-Katrina population, according to The Advocate. Many of those numbers include new residents, happy to call New Orleans home.

Myth No. 6: It isn’t cosmopolitan.

Truth: Tara Elders, wife of actor Michiel Huisman (of “Game of Thrones,” “Orphan Black,” and “Nashville” fame) made waves last year when she told a New York Times reporter, “New Orleans is not cosmopolitan. There’s no kale here.”

The fallout was huge, with locals dubbing the situation #KaleGate. In fact, New Orleans does have kale—and a bunch of other fancy cosmopolitan things—thankyouverymuch, Tara.

Esquire magazine recently named Shaya, a modern take on Israeli fare, as 2015’s best new restaurant in America. New Orleans has also hosted a world-class film festival for the past 26 years, and the city has a 30,000-square-foot farmers market in the works. If that ain’t fancy, we don’t know what is.

Myth No. 7: The swamp is right outside the door.

Truth: Thanks again to the magic of Hollywood, many people visiting (or moving) to New Orleans for the first time are excited to see the swamp. They can—once they hop on a Cajun Tour bus and head about 30 miles out of town. Thanks partly to nature and partly to human engineering, New Orleans is on dry land.

Myth No. 8: It’s hot and humid, and hurricanes happen all the time.

Truth: Hurricane season lasts from June through November, but many years New Orleans is spared any major storms. (The last hurricane to make landfall in the area wasHurricane Isaac in 2012.) And it’s almost never humid! OK, no—that’s a lie. It’s alwayshumid.

6 Ways to Uncover the Truth About Your New Home—Before It’s Too Late

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Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Congratulations, you’ve found your dream home! Or have you?

You set up appointments to visit your potential new home more times than you can count (you’re secretly wondering if your agent is going to change her number). You did so many drive-bys, your would-be neighbors are getting nervous. You took endless video of every room inside, and you measured all the spaces so you can start doing some late-night obsessive-compulsive furniture shopping. You’ve done all your due diligence, right?

We hate to break it to you, but maybe not.

There are a few more things to look out for—a few nagging annoyances that you might not notice right away but, unchecked, could eat at your soul day and night. Certainly, not all of the issues are deal breakers. But given the choice between dealing with them now or eventually becoming a bit too familiar with that bar on your (soon-to-be) new corner as you mull over what might have been, you might want to choose the former. Deal with the extra-fine details now!

Here’s how to make extra sure your new home won’t drive you crazy.

Drive by at night

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before (spoiler alert: You have!). Because it’s really,really good advice. A lot of basic but important questions (Is there a streetlight shining directly in my window? Do the neighbors throw late-night 80s hair metal parties?) can be answered with a quick after-hours drive-by (or two). Yeah, we know you’re already doing them during the day. Do them at night too—on the weekend as well as a weeknight.

“Find out what kind of noise levels there are before making your final decision,” saysAmy Cook, a San Diego Realtor®.

Do not skip this step: Discovering these problems after closing could give you an endless headaches.Like, real ones—migraines that won’t go away.

Take a walk and ask lots of questions

To be truly thorough, you need to get out of the car and hit the pavement. Repeatedly.

“If you really want to learn about the neighborhood and find out all the gossip, good and bad, walk around the neighborhood meeting people and asking them questions,” says Fort Collins, CO, Realtor® Angie Spangler.

Of course, this strategy works best if your neighborhood is sociable; in a suburban neighborhood without sidewalks or much daytime activity, you might not learn much (and you might freak people out a bit). Some moderation is key. And if things are tooquiet, maybe this hood isn’t for you. Or maybe it’s perfect. Some shoe leather reporting will give you a better indication of how you’ll fit in.

Understand the zoning

If there’s one thing that can prevent surprise heartaches, it’s understanding the neighborhood’s zoning laws.

Even if there are no restaurants or bars nearby today, commercial zoning allows their presence, meaning you might be right behind a noisy club five years down the line. Is your potential new home in a designated historic district? That can affect future renovation plans. In a mixed-use district? Some people don’t mind having shops and restaurants just around the corner, but you know best if that “some people” is you.

Spangler recalls selling a home to a couple a few blocks from what’s now Fort Collins’ Old Town—a raucous strip of retail shops and bars.

“They were upset that there’s commercial going in all around them,” she says. “I took for granted they had a good understanding of what to expect.”

Consult with the city’s departments

Speaking with your city’s planning, water management, and police departments can uncover vital information about your potential home—such as its flood hazard, which you may not notice in the dry season but can put your home at risk when it rains.

How close are you to emergency services and what’s the average response time? Is there a big commercial project underway nearby that could increase traffic? Do the crime statistics concern you?

Scope out social media resources

Apps such as Nextdoor help you keep an eye on the neighborhood and can be a valuable resource before moving in. Scour other apps and online resources, join local Facebook groups, and sign up for neighborhood email lists to find out the most common complaints and concerns of your new neighbors.

Pay attention to nearby homes

If you don’t have a trained real estate eye, it might be easy to overlook your neighbor’s unmowed lawn—but ignoring it might mean missing a vital clue to the area’s health and upkeep.

“As a real estate agent, it’s easy for me to identify the properties that are rentals or show lack of upkeep,” Spangler says.

If houses in the neighborhood aren’t well-cared for, it could affect property values down the line. Caveat Emptor. And that means you.