Tag Archives: Home

3 Questions to Ask if You Want to Buy a House

House model and keys on top of mortgage papersHomeownership is, admittedly, not for everyone. There are people who think that buying a house is both a huge financial undertaking that could prevent them from “living in the moment” and a setback that keeps them from exploring career opportunities in other parts of the country (or the world) because they are tied to one address.

Still, many Americans consider becoming a homeowner as a huge achievement or even a dream come true. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re deciding to buy a home soon:

What is your long-term goal?

When you’re young, rich (or earning well, at least), and talented, it’s easy to dismiss thinking what the future could be if you don’t save now. After all, you earn well and you get to buy what you want, live where you want, and be where you want to be. Eventually, however, you will get old and you need to settle. In terms of living arrangements, what is your long-term goal? Do you want to jump cities until you are nearing retirement? Where will your future family live?

How much can you afford?

When getting a loan for your home, it’s important to be realistic about how much you can truly afford. This way, you don’t end up biting more than you can chew. Ask yourself how much you can afford every month in mortgage payments and most importantly, where will you get the money? Do you already have a Clarksville mortgage company in mind?

Where do you want to be in the next 10 years?

Buying a house is a huge and long-term financial responsibility. It’s important to ask yourself where you want to be in the next 10 or 15 years. Some people spend 20 years buying their homes. If you want to be a homeowner before you retire, start the purchase today.

When you’re young, you feel like you can do anything. But, you can really be a homeowner in your 20s or 30s if you start planning soon. Answer these questions before you plan to buy a home.

Selling Your House Effectively This Spring

For Sale sign outside houseSpring is officially here. For the real estate industry, it’s the most wonderful time of year.

The spring housing market is generally recognized as a goldmine, the best time to sell houses. As the winter frost melts away and warmth returns to the world, most buyers choose this time to search for potential homes, flooding the market between March to May and giving sellers a prime opportunity to make a killing.

Of course, a golden opportunity like this has to be used wisely. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your spring sale:

Start a little earlier

While spring is the best season to sell, there are advantages to starting as soon as winter ends. Since most have their eyes on spring, there’s less competition in the winter. And according to Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks, people looking to buy in winter are usually more motivated to make an actual purchase and aren’t just window shopping.

Find a good agent

Having a good agent by your side is paramount. They have real-time data about the market situation at their fingertips, which is key to determining the value of your home. Agencies like rcsothebysrealty.com, for example, provide personalized neighborhood updates to help monitor other factors, like crime rates or new policies, that can affect market value.

Think like a buyer

If you want to sell, you have to know what your buyers are looking for. Think about what you saw in your house when you bought it, and plan accordingly to make a good impression. This also involves fixing up the place. Box up your winter clutter, spruce up your yard, and make the interiors as presentable as possible.

Spring is a good time for sellers, but success isn’t always guaranteed. Your mileage may vary, and taking steps to enhance your position goes a long way in giving you the most out of your sale. Look for a good agent, do a little spring cleaning, and prepare ahead.

The Essential Guide to Choosing the Right Container For Your Plants

Man working on gardenMost people who like to spend their time outside would know how relaxing it is to have beautiful planters in their garden. Traditionally, an Italian-inspired garden is known for its green scenery with a few flowers.

But if you’re thinking about designing a backyard garden, getting some Italian planters from trusted suppliers such as Authentic Provence would be ideal. But how do you know which one is the best? Read on to find out.

Price

There are many options available when choosing a planter. You just need to know which design will fit your garden without breaking the bank. There are plenty of beautiful yet affordable planters on the market.

Durability

Always consider the durability of the product that you’ll buy. Invest in something that will last longer. Not only will it save you money, but it will also mean less consumption of resources.

Location

Create a sketch and plan where the container will be placed in your garden. Consider the size, shape, material, and style of the planter to make sure it will fit your garden’s aesthetics. Choose a color that will blend perfectly with the plant.

Drainage

Ensure that the pot or planter has a drainage hole. If not, choose a material that you can easily drill holes in. Saucers may appear like a sore thumb in your overall garden aesthetics, so try to refrain from using one unless you’re concerned about water overflowing on the surface. Keep in mind that the standing water in the saucer will also attract mosquitoes.

Time and Energy

Planters are easier to use than the regular pots. You can even make your own planter by repurposing some of your old containers. There are several ideas on how to repurpose your planters while helping you save more money.

Gardening is a good hobby or activity. Done right, it also adds beauty to a property. Go find the right planters for your backyard garden and start enjoying the benefits soon.

Screen Doors and Home Security

Sliding DoorHome security is an important concern you must pay close attention to. Providing your family and property with optimum protection allows you to live comfortably, feel safer, and sleep better. If you want added protection, putting up the second door could be a good idea. Read on why.

All About Screen Doors

Screen doors in Sydney, which are commonly known as storm doors, offer a great deal of added protection to any home. They provide significant defence against inclement weather, unwanted pests, and most especially, unauthorised entries, which could pose serious harm to you, your family, and your property.

When you put up a double door, you are also giving your home an extra layer of protection, especially if it is made of powerful and durable materials. You sure would need a barrier to keep burglars and thieves at bay.

In this day of advanced technologies, you can well enjoy insurmountable protection with your screen doors. They can be made of a variety of materials and in different styles to help reinforce your home’s security.

The best materials for screen doors include aluminium, vinyl, and fibreglass. Those who have more to spend may also go for steel screen doors or the ones made of wrought iron. As for the security features, you have a handful of options available – from deadbolts to multipoint locking and high-tech mechanisms, which would ward off unauthorised people from even trying to pass through.

Screen doors may be applied to both the front and back doors and all the other entry doors located in different areas in the house. Before having one installed, it is advisable that you first have a home security inspection, which would tell what sturdy protection your house needs. Afterwards, choose a good company that can provide not just a quality install service but also maintenance and repair to help sustain the efficiency of your security doors.

Benefits of Hiring Professional Movers

Professional movers carrying refrigeratorWhether you are moving across the country or to the other side of town, relocating requires plenty of planning and execution. If you have never relocated before, you might be wondering whether to do it on your own or to hire professional movers. According to monstermovingandstorage.com, hiring professional moving companies in Corona comes with numerous benefits.

Professional Movers Save Costs

If you are moving across the country by yourself, you need to keep track of various moving pieces. First, you need to determine the number of days you will spend on the road for purposes of renting a van. Secondly, you also need to establish the amount of fuel you will require on the road. Other issues include the packing supplies and other miscellaneous costs such as insurance. On the other hand, a moving company will simplify everything. They will provide you with a quotation that covers all the logistics.

They Save Time and Energy

If you decide to move on your own, you will have various tasks to attend to. For example, you will have to take care of all the packing and unpacking. You also need to secure vehicles required for the relocation. All these aspects require time, which you may not have by your side. The good news is that if you hire a moving company, they will do all the hard work for you. Furthermore, their experience in moving will make the entire process smooth and manageable.

They Give You Peace of Mind

Peace of mind is one of the most significant benefits of hiring professional movers. You need to note that transporting your properties is not the only thing you will have to worry about during the relocation. As you move to a new place, you will have to secure a new job or school for your children, among other important matters. Hiring professional movers allows you to take care of important issues, while the experts handle the moving for you.

Hiring professional movers comes with various benefits. If you are planning to relocate, consider hiring a moving company, and enjoy the benefits it brings.

Expert Ideas for Your Home’s Exterior Colours

House during daytimeSeveral factors come into play when selecting your exterior home colours. Roofing, landscaping and homeowners’ association regulations are some of these factors. The most significant factor, however, is the look you are working towards.

Regardless of your intended look, getting professional painters, such as Capital Decorators Ltd in Wellington, is the best way to get a good paint job.

Most visitors, after all, form an impression of your whole home based on the exterior colour. Here are some expert ideas on the ideal colour palettes for your home’s exterior.

Neutral Colours Palette

You could choose to play it safe with neutral tones. Muted tones keep your home’s surroundings as the focal point rather than your house.

You could opt to paint your walls in a soft shade and the trim in crisp white to provide contrast. You could go for a similar tone for your trim and roofline to keep the sightlines unbroken.

Coastal Cool Colour Palette

This colour palette keeps your house looking summery and fresh even in cold weathers or seasons.

Whites are ideal for the windows and eaves. Avoid a white tone that is too sterile, flat or muddy. This should achieve the right coastal cool colour palette. Opt for undertones of green and shades of grey for your main wall and a light shade for your roof to allow it to be your strongest architectural feature.

Dark Colour Palette

Deep colours are suitable for cool climates. You could go for strong colours on your main wall. Very dark blues and straight blacks leaning towards greenish are the ideal options.

Neutral off-whites for your trims add crispness to your strong main wall shades. The roof should be painted in light tones to reflect the sun.

Grey is the ideal option for homeowners aiming for a cool and contemporary look. Opt for a contrasting colour for your eaves to frame your house and make your walls stand out. Get a bold colour for your door to make it your exterior accent.

There you have it, the most popular colour palettes for your home. Have you decided which one you’ll use?

Mortgage Application: Don’t Forget Fees and Penalties

Loan on the monitor of a macbookWhen applying for a loan, most borrowers tend to focus more on their down payment, interest rates, and monthly payments. Many fail to evaluate hidden fees like closing costs and prepayment penalties. If you’re applying for a mortgage and don’t think about them, you may set up yourself for extra expenses before you can finally own your home.

Avoid Surprises Related to Closing Fees

Whether you’re purchasing a home or refinancing a loan, you will need to pay closing costs. A lender or mortgage company should give a Good Faith Estimate (GFE), which lists all related closing costs. Altius Mortgage Group and other mortgage companies in Utah note that these differ based on the type of property, its location, and your loan type. In most cases, buyers pay about 2% to 5% of home’s value in closing fees.

It’s good to know that some fees in the closing costs are unnecessary and negotiable. You can ask your lender to have some of those fees removed or ask them to explain why they are necessary. There is also the no-closing cost mortgage, which may cost you more in the long run. This is because the lender may charge you with a higher rate or include the closing fees into the total loan amount.

Extra Payments and Penalties

Some loans carry prepayment penalties when you may extra mortgage payments. Note that not all loans have this, so it means that you may have agreed on this when you close the purchase. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with your lender. The penalties could apply if you pay the entire balance (by selling or refinancing) or pay a large amount all at once.

If you, for instance, received an inheritance or get a promotion, making extra payments can reduce financial burden in the long. This also reduces your total payment and helps build equity faster. Before agreeing to a loan, you may want to ask your lender to have this removed if possible. Note that paying extra can also lower the number of interests paid.

Buying a house is a financial decision, so you shouldn’t overlook other fees that can affect your payment in the future. Talk to a reliable lender to learn more about your mortgage options and all other associated fees.

Old woman sitting

Make Your Home Safe for Older Adults

Old woman sittingIf your elderly relative is accident-prone and you’re worried about their health and safety, a home safety assessment can identify the danger areas in your home and will identify the placement of some simple adaptions to prevent accidents.

Falls are the biggest reason for hospital admissions and premature deaths in the elderly.  Their deteriorating eyesight, weaker immune function and greater susceptibility to disease are some of the reasons for this vulnerability. Increasing use of medication can also have side-effects like dizziness and confusion. Coupled with less exercise, this can cause older adults to become more accident-prone.

Here are some ways to lessen the risk of accidents in your home.

Home Safety Assessments

Professional rehabilitation experts like MEASURAbilities, LLC suggest that an elderly home safety assessment is essential for any homeowner. This is a functional capacity evaluation to see how physically fit they are and how well they can manage their way around the house.

Based on the results of those tests, they will make suggestions on how to maintain independence and prevent accidents. Modifications to your home will be tailored to the person’s needs. These modifications could include grab bars, hand grips for the bathroom, and anti-slip coatings for surfaces to keep them on their feet.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise triggers the body into producing its natural glucosamine – a substance that cushions the joints. This will increase flexibility and mobility, so work with your older relatives and encourage them to be more active.
Encourage them to See their Family DoctorPolypharmacy – taking multiple prescriptions at once – is common in the elderly. Some drugs have different reactions. Review them with a doctor so they could eliminate unnecessary drugs.

Get Mobility Aids

Installation of a stair lift, walk-in tub, bath lift or flat access shower and use of walking aids can protect older family members in their home.

For many families living with older adults, any equipment that can reduce the risk of accidents at home can help loved ones live a more comfortable home life.

An Agent from an Online Review

Woman by her computer focused and blurry other women in the backgroundWhen looking for a real estate agent, it can be challenging to find the right person. Most people are tempted to pick the one person recommended by families and friends. However, real estate review websites like propertysurvey.com.ph allow you to look for an agent who will suit your needs.

Honest Reviews

An online review is most likely from a person who has dealt personally with the real estate agent. You can also use the reviews to compare different agents you’ve gathered through referrals or online reviews.

Insightful

The many reviews will provide you with a special insight into how a certain agent will deal with your case. They will also give you a chance to compare costs, experience, and the services offered. The sites also provide other details you might need to ensure that you will have a good understanding of what the agent can do for you.

Real-time Response

The agents on online review sites have a chance to clarify and respond to reviews from users. This response is immediate and in case you have a query you get a quick response once you post it on the site. Additionally, it gives you the chance to see how well the agent engages with their clients. Agents who are willing to be reviewed are also accountable for their services.

Relationship Building

Using a website that reviews real estate agents allows you to find someone you are sure you can build a relationship. Such agents are keen on making sure they give you the best as they are aware you might post a review after a job done. This is key to a positive experience and long-term relationship building.

Online real estate review sites are the perfect way to find the right agent. Just like shopping for any other online product the reviews provided on the site give real-time responses and are ideal for relationship building.

The Coldest of Winter: Keeping Utility Bills from Ruining the Homeowning Experience

Man at desk in shirt and tie holding his head and worrying about money.Many homeowners find that the joy of owning a home fades quickly when they are faced with high utility bills every month. The situation arises during the inevitable winter period when you have to turn on the heat or freeze to death.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), households that use electricity to heat up their home spend an average of $930 during winter. If propane is your go-to heating medium, you are likely to spend $1,437 to keep warm. On the flip side, households that rely on natural gas for heat spend an affordable $578 during winter.

Make the right choice of heating method

Pay close attention to the type of heating system before making a purchase. Systems older than 20 years are likely to cause you grief in the long run. They are often inefficient and could lead you to incur a fortune in energy bills due to inefficiencies that lead to heat loss.

Again, you are likely to suffer frequent breakdowns, which are both costly and uncomfortable. If unsure, have an expert examine the system and advise you accordingly. For instance, you need to understand whether the home uses a hot water or a forced air heating system.

Factor in your creature comforts

Having a fireplace at home is a great way to create a warm and cozy environment for your family. Unfortunately, the idea of stacking logs and idea of having the house smelling of smoke is a deal breaker for many.

Luckily, Comfort Solutions says that you can now have a fireplace in Utah without worrying about the smoke. All you need is to replace your traditional one with a new fireplace that runs on natural gas or even electricity.

With the help of the installation experts, you can convert your old and probably unused fireplace into an excellent source of heat.

Making the right choice of a heating system is the key to keeping your home warm in the dead of winter without incurring a fortune in heating bills. With the help of a credible heating expert, you can make the right choice or modifications to suit your needs.