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Australian Marine and Coastal Environments Face Threats from Oil Spills

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Scuba Diving With Fishes And Coral ReefsOil and other commercial spills are a constant threat to Australian marine wildlife, workers and local homeowners. Approximately 5,000 tonnes of oil spills were reported from 2001 to 2012 alone.

In April 2010, Chinese coal carrier ShenNeng 1 collided with the Douglas Shoal of the Great Barrier Reef. The ship leaked up to four tonnes of fuel oil into the ocean, damaging around three kilometres of the Reef.

A more recent incident happened in 2015, when a freight train derailed in Queensland, spilling sulphuric acid and severely contaminating surrounding bodies of water.

Measures like shoreline flushing, booms, vacuums, sorbents and bioremediation agents are some of the more common methods for onshore oil spill response. Many companies use high-grade spill control kits, which include large marine booms, pads and granular absorbents.

With increased access to oil spill response methods, commercial and residential property owners can better arrest the dire effects of spillages.

Effects of Marine Oil Spills

Oil spills on marine and coastal environments can have both short or long-term impacts. Spills can lead to immediate physical damage and loss of foreshore and marine habitats, as well as a long-term negative impact on the health, diversity and viability of coastal eco-systems.

The contamination of coastal infrastructure also affects tourism and other recreational activities, resulting in economic losses at both the regional and national level.

The Cleanup Process: A Messy Business

No two oil spills are alike, but one thing they all have in common is a messy cleanup. If a ship sinks or an oil pipeline breaks, the goal is to contain the oil source by preventing more oil from leaking, and by stopping already spilt oil from spreading.

However, ocean currents and weather conditions may overwhelm booms and other offshore cleanup methods. This is why oil escapes to shorelines from the initial spill and wreaks havoc.

Take note that all response options have potential trade-offs. This means considering the impact of the cleanup strategies and examining their nuances. An assessment of the oil spill would require information on the specific oil type, shoreline habitats, local environmental conditions, shore access and other logistical and safety considerations. These factors determine the most suitable cleanup method and avoid making a bad situation even worse.

 

Mortgage Rates Fall Even More

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a concept of a man thinking about buying a houseHave you been planning to apply for a home loan here in Lake Oswego, but you have not taken out a home loan because of the high rates? Now may be the perfect opportunity for you to review your mortgage options as mortgage rates decreased for the week.

The 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages all decreased in interest rates.

Mortgage Decreases

The 30-year fixed mortgage fell 8 basis points from 3.77 percent to 3.68 percent. The 15-year fixed mortgage, on the other hand, slid down 5 basis points to 2.91 percent. Finally, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points to 3.06 percent.

Grab the Opportunity

Rates have only been this low now ever since the beginning of the year. You can immediately approach Lake Oswego lenders to lock in a home loan with the low-interest rate available. Take your time, nonetheless, and shop around to find the best deal around.

Consider which mortgage you will take as well.

Driving Forces of Decreases

Rates have been sliding down for six weeks already. Experts tie the decreases to the current events racking the country. As Hurricane Irma hits land and tensions continue to climb between the U.S. and North Korea.

These events affected investors and drove long-term bond yields down significantly. Mortgage rates fell, as they tend to follow the path of long-term bonds.

Experts Say: No More Decreases

Again, you can grab the opportunity to lock in a low mortgage rate now, especially while the rates last. Experts suggest mortgage rate decreases will come to a halt, in spite expectations of more bad news to come. Mortgage rates fall because of bad news that shakes up investors.

Mortgage rates will likely flat line in the next week, however, even if more bad news comes.

With this piece of information, you can alternately take your time to find a good mortgage. It will be good to stay alert, however, as things may make a turn and the rates can go up if you take too long in deciding on a mortgage. You can consider all options to make the best decision.

Skills You Need If You Want a Job in Finance

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Recruiter examining finance applicant's resume

Recruiter examining finance applicant's resumeThese days, you don’t just have to compete with job applicants who are in your area or city or even country. You also have to compete with job seekers from all over the world, according to recruitment firms like Barden. If you’re looking to apply for top financial jobs, here are some of the skills you need to have. Work on these skills if you plan to go for finance director jobs in Dublin.

Advanced Problem-Solving Skills

Advanced problem-solving skills means that you already have the innate ability to be a problem-solver. You should be not only able to pull through during challenging times but also able to spot weak areas before they become significant problems. You can think and analyse problems to devise a solution that would benefit your company. Your team needs your wisdom and guidance to solve problems, and you should be able to help them navigate the business world.

Excellent Communication Skills

Leaders are expected to have excellent communication skills, otherwise, how do you expect them to lead? But communication should always go both ways. Apart from simply telling people what to do, you need to be able to listen to what’s going on in your department and find solutions and take actions. As a financial specialist, you have to be good at crunching numbers, but if you’re aiming for a managerial and directorial role, you have to have good communications skills too, both verbal and written.

Tech-Savvy

In any company and position, the ones who are tech-savvy always have an edge. The whole business digitisation requires a working knowledge and understanding of these systems. It’s not enough that you know the basic math and statistics. You also have to be updated with the new technologies that involve your industry.

Give Yourself an Advantage

Being a leader means you have to work on soft skills, not just hard skills. In today’s modern workplace, soft skills, like delegation, are needed to manage people well. If you’re applying for jobs in the finance department, add these to your skillset.

Three Things that Help You Make Informed Decisions in Home Loans

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Buying a Home

Buying a HomeBuying a home is perhaps the most costly investment for most Americans. With such a decision, you do need to gamble. You not only need ample time to think about it but also seek expert advice on your home investment plan. Any financial institution you approach will evaluate you thoroughly before deciding on giving you home loan options in Ogden. You have to have a credible credit report, shop for the best interest rates, and get reliable loan products.

Creditworthiness

Financial institutions try to reduce their risks to a minimum. Any lender will want an official statement of your financial status. You do not want to present a document that betrays their trust in you. Credit unions want to know whether you have borrowed funds in the past and if you managed to repay within the stipulated time.

Similarly, a credit report will show your official address, police records, or any legal claims such as bankruptcy. You are, therefore, advised to request a copy of your credit report at least once a year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles every citizen to free copy of their credit report.

Interest Rates

Credit companies are always looking to make a profit from the loan they award you. It is your responsibility to ensure that the rates are low and manageable. Interests on home loans change occasionally. Therefore, you need to make regular checks to be certain that your interest rate is locked. You need to confirm that the rates will not change before closing within 30 or 60 days. Moreover, you could ask your credit provider the cost of extending a rate lock, and if you can be allowed to switch to a longer rate lock.

Loan Estimates

Always shop and make a comparison between loans. You need to choose the best loan that will not hurt your budget and income. You want to request a loan estimate from various credit providers so that you can choose with whom you want to work. Inquire the reason for them suggesting such rates. In the end, make a choice based on comfort, cost of the loan, and confidence in the credit company.

When applying for a home loan, you need extensive research. You must have a reliable credit report, shop for comfortable interest rates, and compare various loan estimates.

Three Mistakes Parents Make in Searching for a Day Care

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a teacher with 5 kids inside a day careChoosing a day care is not so different from selecting a spouse. You want a partner that could help you look after several important parts of your life. The downside, in the case of day cares, is that you cannot afford to kiss several frogs to find your prince charming. Below are three mistakes to avoid when shopping for a daycare facility for your child, according to Smart Kids Development Center, a trusted day care in Salt Lake City.

Relying on Recommendations Alone

Parents are different in their preferences and parenting styles. Then again, kids are also different in terms of needs and the level of care they need. It is true that recommendations help in finding top day care facilities within your area. However, you must not rely entirely on the views of other parents. It pays to ensure that you make a decision that works for you and your kid.

Making Assumptions

When searching for a suitable day care, you must not make assumptions. Accreditation does not in automatically mean a specific school has superb teachers, proper routines, and high nutrition standards. Additionally, the architectural design of a facility may have nothing to do with the quality of care they provide kids. You must look beyond paperwork and fancy décor. Find some facts about various day care facilities that interest you.

Focusing on “Household Names”

Day care centers that have branches nationwide are certainly well-established. There must be something good about their operations that make them well known and appreciated, right? While this may be the case, sometimes, these household names may just not match the standards you are looking for. Your day care hunt cannot focus solely on finding a one whose name is well-known.

You should not underestimate the importance of getting it right the first time. Your child might spend more hours at a day care center than anywhere else during early childhood. You owe your little champ a well-researched and well-thought-of decision.

Ways to Diversify Your Investments

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Girl posing with a piggy bankDiversifying your investment allows you to increase the security of your future. It’s one of the best ways to minimise loss of income because your assets are essentially “spread out” so that they’re not all exposed to the same risk. Here are some tips to diversify your investments.

Buy Gold Investments

Gold coins in the UK make for an excellent investment as they have a relatively stable resale value. When you consider the intrinsic value of this investment, the experts at Atkinsons Bullion explain you’ll find that it will sell better if it is kept for a long time.

Invest in Stocks

Buying shares or investing in stocks can be common, but make a point of diversifying your purchases. Get shares from financial companies, real estate companies, trade companies, retail companies, and varying industries. This allows you to diversify your stocks further so that one industry problem won’t affect the rest.

Buy Real Estate

Land is perhaps one of the best ways to diversify as their value only increases in time. You can hold onto land and sell it, or you can lease it out to others. Buildings can also be rented out, providing you with a steady income over the years.

Fixed Income Funds

With a volatile market, you’ll want an income source that’s dependable. This is where fixed income funds can help you. This is a perfect long-term method for diversification with the securities being tracked by experts to your benefit.

Government and Insurance

Don’t forget the government pension or even insurance companies, specifically when it comes to health. You can also try investing in prepaid funeral plans. While this is technically not an income-producing investment, it does help you save in the long run.
Don’t forget the classic investment of putting money in the bank. Make a point of computing how much money you’ll need to live on by the time you retire so that you have a solid goal.

Why Utah Residents Need to Buy Houses Right Now

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Home exteriorPrices for homes in Wasatch Front and Salt Lake City are higher than ever. While this may be scary for a would-be homeowner, this is also a good opportunity if you want to lock in a house and keep your options open for the future.

Here’s why you should consider buying a house now:

The Return on Investment Is High

After using a home loan calculator, you may feel overwhelmed with the monthly payments you will need to make. But if you can sell the property for a higher price in the future, you can get a good ROI for a shorter period. In a year, prices of homes in Salt Lake City, Utah went up by 10%. If the trend continues, you can sell a house for a good profit and being able to afford a new home for your family in the future.

Opportunities Are High in Utah

Not everyone who buys a house in Utah is looking to make a profit out of it. Some simply want a roof over their head and a place they can call home. If you’re one of them, buying a property right now is a good way to get started. With Utah’s booming market and economy, you’ll be looking at business opportunities left and right.

The Upward Trend May Continue for a While

With the soaring price of raw materials and the lack of manpower, fewer houses are being built to answer the demand. There’s no knowing when Utah’s real estate market will reach a plateau. You don’t want to end up with no housing options at all, so it’s best to look at what are up for sale before they are snatched by everyone else.

A house is something a family needs to survive and live a comfortable life. Look at what’s out there and talk to your mortgage company before you run out of options. But be sure to compare those options and get professional help, so you can make an informed decision. Applying for a mortgage is also a good way to own a house.

Top Home Buying Secrets That You Should Be Aware of

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Hands shaking on real estate deal

Hands shaking on real estate dealBuying a home is a huge investment on your part. Thus, it is important that you get the most out of your hard-earned money. You have to make sure that the home you will pay for is the right home for you.

There are things that you need to know before availing of a home mortgage here in West Jordan. Here are a few tips on how you can avoid making buying mistakes before it is too late.

Avoid Potential Border Disputes

It is important to have a survey done on the property you are eyeing. This way, you will know the exact location of your property lines. This can spare you of possible disputes with your neighbors in the future.

Having an accurate map of your property can also help you determine the amount of property tax you have to pay.

Check Out the Neighborhood

Before deciding that you have found your ideal community, make sure to check out the area during the day and night. Try to drive by at various times of the day to get a feel of what is happening at certain times of the day. Find out if you can handle the daily commute to and from your new home.

It is also important that the community has everything your family needs. These include supermarkets, schools, and hospitals.

Inspect the Home

When buying a car, you check under the hood first, right? The same is true when purchasing a home. Get the services of a professional home inspector who will make sure to check every area of the home. The job of the inspector is to give you the information you need to come up with a buying decision.

A third-party inspection may reveal some hidden flaws in the house that the seller may not be willing to disclose. You can use these findings as a tool to bargain for a lower price. Hiring an inspector will set you back by about $200, but you stand to save a lot of money from future repairs.

When considering buying a new home, keep these tips in mind. These will help you avoid common mistakes that many home buyers commit.

The FHA 203k Loan Program At A Glance

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Plenty of homes available on the market come at highly affordable rates. It comes Mortgage loan agreementwith a catch, however: most of these bargain houses need substantial repairs before it can be considered livable once more. In most cases, having the funds for a remodel could mean the difference between a dilapidated house with good foundations and a perfect house designed to suit your specific wants and needs. This is where the FHA 203k Loan Program comes in.  It can help fund your remodeling project, as well as act as a mortgage.

Below are some basic things you need to know about the program:

  • You could choose between two types, the streamline 203k loan and the standard or regular 203k loan.
  • You could use the loan for buying a home or refinancing your home.
  • You could qualify with only 3.5% down payment.
  • You could roll the repair costs into your overall loan amount.
  • The house should be appraised for its value upon completion of the repairs.
  • The entire loan process requires 60 days minimum to close.
  • The property should be owner-occupied, meaning that you must live in it after the repairs are done.
  • You could close the loan before any repairs have been completed, but you must finish all repairs within six months after closing.
  • You’re allowed to make various repairs, such as reconstruction or structural modifications, aesthetic upgrades like painting and flooring, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, roofing, internal systems like your air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, water, and heating systems, buying energy efficient appliances and features, and disabled access among others.
  • The loaned funds can be used for a range of remodeling and repair work. You’re not allowed, however, to use the funds to add luxury features, such as a hot tub, a swimming pool, an outdoor fireplace, or a barbecue pit among others.

Although the FHA 203k loan program isn’t right for all borrowers, it might be the right option for you if:

  • You don’t have the money to make necessary repairs and updates.
  • You require a strong support team to aid you in managing the entire home renovation project.
  • You plan to live in the renovated home for the long haul.
  • You fully understand the rewards and potential risks of going through the home remodeling process.

One caveat, however, is to make sure to select a lender that has extensive experience in providing FHA 203k loans because you would need to stay in contact with them until you close on your home. That said, if your existing lender doesn’t offer it, look for one that does.

Safety Tips on Using Drilling Tools

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Man drilling a metal sheetAs if driving a nail through a wood with the use of a hammer is not hard enough, imagine drilling through a wall without the right tools. How can one possibly drill through a pure concrete slab without handheld drilling and power tools?

People in the past have done it in their own ways, but the presence of modern machines makes the job easier. But like other construction equipment, there are risks involved in using drilling tools.

Before your start drilling, here are some safety tips you should always observe to prevent mishaps:

Inspect

Always conduct a thorough inspection before using the tool. Check for signs of damage, breakage, loose wires, etc. Do not attempt to use tools that have seemingly minor damage, or try to do a quick fix and use it. Making sure your tools are in good condition is the first step to having a successful and safe working environment.

Wear Personal Protective Gear

Drilling through a concrete wall can have small and loose debris flying around as well as dust. Make sure you are properly protected. Wear goggles, masks, and gloves to keep yourself from inhaling dust, and loose debris from entering your eyes. Do not wear baggy clothes and always have your hair tied up (if you have long hair) to prevent it from getting stuck in the drill. 

 Use the Drill Properly

Make sure you know how to use the specific type of drill you have. Proper operation and handling are important to ensure the success of the job and to prevent accidents.

Emergency Response

Always have an emergency response plan. If you are working at home, make sure you have an accessible first aid kit should you sustain injuries while working.

Drilling is not rocket science, which is why many people know how to perform it. But the absence of proper training and skills can cause accidents. Always be on the safe side and take the right precautionary measures in any project to ensure safety.