Blog Posts

Home Ownership for Veterans

Photo by Benjamin Faust on Unsplash. The above picture is of a person's feet in suede shoes, with a backpack and an American Flag.

Homeownership is a huge part of the American dream. Realizing that dream can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. From prospecting to finding an agent to getting your finances ready to planning for the move, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For disabled veterans, the process is uniquely challenging. Transitioning into civilian life is hard enough without the added hustle of finding and financing a home.

Fortunately, there are mechanisms and resources put in place to make home buying easy and painless for veterans. With the right information about veteran benefits like down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, property-tax relief, and discounted homeowners’ insurance, purchasing and owning a home can be a breeze. This guide from the Job Openings for disABLED Veterans highlights the important aspects of home buying for veterans to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

Considerations to Make When Buying a Home 

There are many considerations to mull over when buying a house. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the nitty-gritty and forget to prioritize what is important to you and your family. Following the four steps outlined below should help you stay true to your priorities and make a sound investment:

  1. Get your finances in order

Buying a house is expensive. Costs include inspection, appraisal, down payment, and closing fees. Before you even consider this commitment, you need to get your finances in order. The first step is cleaning up your credit report. Qualifying for a mortgage and getting a good deal on it hinges on your credit score. Lenders have different measures for what they consider an acceptable credit score but paying your bills on time helps.   

  1. Find the right home loan

Veterans have the advantage of qualifying for a VA loan. A VA loan is a mortgage issued by private lenders with the backing of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

VA loans allow veterans to purchase a home with no down payment. Since the upfront funding fee can be rolled into the loan, veterans could potentially finance 100% of their homes with a VA loan. Additional benefits of VA loans include:

-          Low interest rates

-          Ease of refinance

-          No private mortgage insurance requirement

-          Low closing cost

-          Low credit score is accepted

-          Higher debt-to-income ratio is accepted


  1. Search for your dream home

Finding the right home takes time. There are numerous factors to consider if you are to make an informed decision. Do you want to live in a suburb, city, or remote location? What is the ideal home size for you? Which amenities do you want nearby? What is the cost of living for your preferred areas? 

The average homebuyer visits up to 15 different houses before choosing one. You should take your time considering it is a huge life decision. Find a good real estate agent. Take enough photographs of the houses you like and feel free to go back for a second look.

Affordability is a key consideration when choosing your dream home. Make your calculations to find out if you can afford a mortgage. Ideally, your mortgage should be 28 percent of your gross monthly income. Note that mortgage is inclusive of homeowners insurance and property tax. Your total monthly debt payments should also not exceed 36 percent of your pretax income.  

  1. Mortgage Closing

Closing is the final step when purchasing a house. It is at this stage that you receive the keys to your new home after signing all the proper paperwork in the presence of various legal representatives. Your lender should send you a closing disclosure before the closing day. The disclosure features the loan terms and outstanding closing costs.

Closing costs include loan fees, commissions, title charges, and transfer fees. You can negotiate these costs throughout the mortgage process with options ranging from applying for assistance programs to rolling over the costs into your loan.  

  1. Hire Movers

Last but certainly not least, make sure you connect with professional movers, who can help make the transition from your old home to your new one a little easier. Use sites like Angi to find “top movers near me” to locate local movers with good reviews.


Buying a home is a huge part of transitioning smoothly back into civilian life. It is also a major financial commitment. Take your time to find the right home that you can afford and consider a favorable financing option.  

How to Pursue a Career in Finance

If you are eager to pursue a finance career, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of landing a great first job in the field and going on to achieve your ambitions. Keep reading for tips on how to get started.

Your Education

First, you need to go to college and get a bachelor's degree. If you already have a degree and are changing careers, you may want to take some finance classes. Depending on exactly what type of specialty you choose, you might eventually want to pursue more education or certifications, such as becoming a certified public accountant. However, to begin with, you should get your undergraduate degree in finance or a related field.

You can get your degree and pay for it with loans from a private lender along with other sources of money for college, such as scholarships. Look for a lender who offers you a favorable interest rate and a repayment plan that you are comfortable with. Eventually, you might want to get an MBA, but most programs look for students who already have some work experience, and you will benefit most if you spend a few years working between your undergraduate and graduate degree.

Interning and Other Work

College is a great time to pursue internships and other opportunities to get real-world experience. Unfortunately, not every internship is paid, and you may feel that you are at a disadvantage if you cannot afford this opportunity. However, there are plenty of other ways that you can network and get experience. Look for a regular part-time job where you get to work with finance. Join any related organizations you are eligible for, whether they are student or professional groups. See if your school can connect you with a mentor.

Choose a Specialty

Finance is a large field. Can you narrow down what type of job you'd like to do and what industry you'd like to work in? You might work in banking or government, entertainment or sports. You could become a financial advisor, a financial analyst or a securities sales agent. You might want to work in New York City on Wall Street or in your hometown on Main Street. Thinking about what you will specialize in while you're still in college can help you direct your studies and the experience that you get so that you are better prepared.

Your First Job and Beyond

At your first job, it will be important to accept that you're the junior member of the team. That will often mean doing unglamorous work, but your willingness to do it with a good attitude will get you far. Look for training opportunities and other chances to show your supervisor that you are eager to learn more and move up. When you leave your first and subsequent jobs to move on to something better, try not to burn bridges. Work on your relationships as well. Some people say networking as though it is an undesirable word, but there is great value in getting to know people, building relationships and maintaining those relationships across years and even decades.

Post-Pandemic Employee Productivity: How to Motivate People Returning to the Office

If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no surprise that the pandemic has shaken up the workforce like never before. Employees, as well as their employer companies, have seen tremendous shifts in their workflow.


Depending on the situation of lockdown in your country or region, your company might still be embracing work from home — or could be starting in-office work very soon. In both cases, motivating your employees to be more productive is crucial.


In order to make your workforce get the most out of their time and get things done faster, you can take certain steps. To help you out with that, I’ve compiled some tips which you can use to motivate your employees.


Showcase genuine gestures of appreciation

Any employee would love the idea of a kind gesture during these hard times. If you decide to start appreciating your workers for their efforts, every once in a while, they’d stay motivated to perform at their best.


Start by verbal appreciation. If you want to take it to the next level, you can offer a drink or dinner after work. Just remember, be nice and appreciate what they do for your company — and they’ll eventually want to do even more.


Communicate, communicate, and communicate

Communication is the key to a healthy and thriving employee-employer relationship. Be clear and concise with your communication. Provide accurate requirements for the tasks they have to do. Be sure to listen to what they have to say about an assignment.


Moreover, you don’t have to make important decisions entirely on your own. Yes, I understand you’re the brains of your company, but even you can, sometimes, use some bright ideas coming from your employees. Give them the freedom to speak up and showcase their ideas and views. Listen to them carefully and provide feedback accordingly.


Be available and accessible

Employees hate bosses which are hard to reach. Don’t cover yourself under several layers of security and diminished reachability. Don’t ignore their phone calls and emails every time.


I’m not saying you have to attend every employee’s phone call all the time — because you don’t. If you’re busy with something, decline their call and send them a message stating you’ll call them back. When you’re free and ready to talk, call them back and listen to their queries.


Don’t make them wait for long periods outside your office. Call them in as soon as you’re available and ready to talk.


Provide productivity and quality-of-life tools

Believe it or not, the latest tools and pieces of software can boost the performance of your employees by a good bit. Moreover, as upgraded pieces of software come with quality-of-life improvements, it’ll make different tasks easier for your workers.


When they find a task easy and streamlined to perform, they’ll be more interested to finish it off quickly. For example, to help them easily save the format of their documents in PDF, get them a Word to PDF tool that can perform this task seamlessly. It sounds like a simple tool, but it counts and makes things streamlined for your employees.


Take care of their physical and mental health

People are now very aware of their health conditions and want to work in a safe environment to keep their health in shape. To showcase a gesture of care and trust, promote employee programs that revolve around their health. You could even encourage them to visit nurses and do check ups on their health. Certified nurses have completed the NCLEX RN exams and they are qualified to take care of patients, communicate with doctors and check vital signs.


These programs could either grant financial support or could provide physical or mental health awareness. Remember, mental health is as important as physical health. Alongside providing physical health support, never neglect the importance of mental health counseling.


They say “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” — but I say, “keep your employees the closest”. Keeping them happy is the key to making them perform at their best and produce the best possible results.


Final word


Your employees now need your support more than ever. Using the tips mentioned above, you can make sure you’re building a close, meaningful relationship with them. It will keep them motivated and eager to work for you at their best.

Written by Tom Rich 

Most Common Challenges Faced by Teams Nowadays

Teamwork reportedly gets more tasks done than individual work. It lets you combine the skillsets of multiple individuals and produce the desired results. But getting teamwork right isn’t a walk in the park. Teamwork isn’t actually teamwork until every member learns to work in collaboration with each other — and that’s a challenge.


Teams face many internal and external challenges during their workflow. In order to deal with them effectively, you must learn what they are, first. Here are 5 of the challenges teams have to face nowadays. Plus, I’ve provided solid solutions to each of those challenges, so you don’t have to go looking for them.


Lack of communication due to physical absence

Although the recent lockdowns have taught us to communicate and work remotely, many still haven’t fully embraced remote work environments. This leads to a lack of clear communication between team members, leading to unwanted issues and undesired results.


To make sure your team doesn’t suffer from this pitfall, you must provide them with the necessary education and training needed for remote work. Teach your teammates how to communicate effectively online and get things done remotely. To do that, you can provide reference material or arrange your own, private training sessions.


Inability to trust

When a person is working alone, they can make all the decisions on their own as no one’s concerned. However, that’s not the case in teamwork. Every individual has to participate in the decision-making. And the person whose decision ends up getting approved must be trusted by the other team members. When teammates don’t trust each other and question others’ decisions at every turn, things could turn out to be problematic. Remember, trust is one of the crucial key elements of a perfect team.


Promote a healthy and trustful environment in your workplace. Enforce your team members to trust and support each other in every task. But unlike other skills, trust is an emotional factor that can’t be formulated into your teammates’ minds with training. Instead, it’s built with mutual understanding and connections. Make sure to arrange group activities that could bring your teammates together, emotionally.


Ambiguous goals

If you’re working alone, setting goals for yourself is easy. But when you’re setting goals for a team, it’s a tough feat and requires close attention. Unclear and ambiguous goals can lead to diminished productivity and team conflicts. Before assigning tasks and setting deadlines, make sure you have clearly described the goal for every individual. Ensure that all of you are on the same page — only then you’d be able to perform as a confined unit.


Differences in talent and capabilities

Every individual is talented in their own way, but some team members are naturally more efficient and productive than others. If you assign similar tasks to everyone on your team, they may face conflicts when some of them finish faster while someone else is left behind. To avoid this problem, make sure to assess every individual’s capabilities and assign tasks accordingly. This doesn’t mean you mustn’t provide anything special for great teammates — you surely must. Reward them for being productive and finishing their tasks effectively.


Insufficient technical background

If you work in a field that requires substantial technical background, mediocre teammates may not be a suitable fit and could end you up in challenging situations. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you must make sure your teammates have taken the necessary tests and examinations to do their job effectively. An example of such an examination is the USMLE Step 2 CK. Nurses and doctors in your professional team must have taken this examination to ensure they’re proficient enough to apply their medical knowledge to patients.


Final word


Teams produce better results than individual workers, but that comes after the necessary education and training of teammates. It’s harder to work in a team than it is to work independently. But when your teammates do learn to collaborate, results would be amazing. Keeping the above-mentioned challenges in mind, you can make sure you’re well-informed of the mistakes you could do during your workflow. Taking on these challenges effectively will let you reach your goals, and ultimately get to the desired levels of success.


Best Tech Resources for Career Success When You Have a Disability

Best Tech Resources for Career Success When You Have a Disability 

Although society would like to think it’s reached a point where everyone has the same opportunities, people with disabilities know that’s simply not the case. At the end of the day, the world at large simply wasn’t made with disabilities in mind, and accommodations, when they exist, often don’t go far enough to truly level the playing field.


That’s why it’s so important for people with disabilities to find the tools they need to thrive. With the right resources, you can more easily navigate your industry, even the parts that weren’t designed for you. disABLEDperson, Inc. presents this guide to help you find the tools to success:


A Reliable Smartphone


At this point, most people already have a smartphone, but able-bodied and neurotypical people often underestimate how vital a tool this is for people with disabilities. There are countless accessibility apps out there, all designed explicitly to help people have the tools they need, no matter where they are. There are color-checking apps for people with impaired vision, captioning apps for people with auditory processing issues, even bathroom finding apps for people who can’t afford to hunt for the nearest facilities.


All of that said, these apps can fall flat if you don’t have a phone that can support the latest updates. It’s easy to get left behind if you’re on a model that operating systems no longer support. If you’re in this boat, search for affordable ways to get a newer model. For example, many carriers offer upgrade programs that allow you to trade your phone in for a discount. When you rely on tools to make your way in the world, it’s important to know they’ll work properly when the time comes.


Online Schools


As more and more people learn the myriad benefits of working and studying remotely, online studying opportunities are becoming more ubiquitous. Although universities make their best effort to ensure that they have accessible learning opportunities for everyone, many people would be best suited by the opportunity to learn at their own pace, on their own schedule, in the environment that works best for them. Online universities provide that chance.


That makes now a great time to look into earning a degree, especially if there’s a field you’ve always considered but avoided due to accessibility concerns. For example, IT and computer science are lucrative fields that are likely to become even more in-demand over time. Finance, business, teaching - there’s a whole world of careers out there waiting for you to make your mark.


Home-Based Business Opportunities


In much the same way that being able to connect virtually has created opportunities to study, it’s also made it more feasible to run your own business when you have a disability. Home-based, fully remote companies are becoming more and more common. This method of business ownership puts you in complete control of your workload, schedule, and process, meaning you can build your business on a foundation of accessibility.


One of the best ways to get your footing as a home-based company is to try your hand at freelance work. This allows you to practice the skills you’ll need to thrive and refine your work process in order to discover what works best for you. Moreover, it’s possible to make a freelance career fit on the side of a full-time job, so you don’t have to sacrifice your current work in order to feel out the idea of running a business for yourself. There are a lot of freelance resources you can find online that make it easier to get started.


Many fields and opportunities that might have been completely out of reach for many are more accessible than ever thanks to technology. By learning which tools can help you thrive, you can create the barriers-free career you’ve always dreamed of.


disABLEDperson, Inc. aims to reduce the unemployment rate of individuals and veterans with disabilities by helping them connect with employers. Visit our website today.

Written by Ed Carter

 Photo Credit: Pexels