Dance while you dust: This is the perfect time to fully indulge your musical interests; break out the iPod or turn up the CD player, and you’ll be singing along to your favorite tunes and won’t find cleaning to be a chore at all! Clear out the clutter: Take the opportunity to dig into the closets, storage spaces, and of course, the garage. You’ve probably got a veritable treasure trove of old clutter that’s just taking up space—now’s the time for a yard sale! Turn that clutter into cash. Room by room: Try to focus on just one room at a time, and try to complete one room each day. This will make the whole job seem more manageable, and you’ll probably get things cleaned more thoroughly than if you tried to tackle the whole house at once! Just a little more laundry: One of the things that we rarely attend to is the state of our draperies, shower curtains, and rugs. Now is your chance: gather up every spare bit of linen in the house and have it laundered; you’ll be surprised at how much brighter your home will look! A room with a view: It’s time to tackle those windows! Set aside a […]
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Before you begin pick your paint colors carefully. You may love one color, but will it go well with your furnishings, carpeting, and adjoining wall areas? Choosing with care can save you a frustrating and costly re-do. Use water-based latex paint for ease in application and cleanup. Buy the correct paint for the surface you are painting. Wood floors, concrete, masonry or metal require specific products. Before you dip your brush in that paint, assemble every item you will need: Enough paint for the entire job (you don’t want to take your paint-smeared self back to the store in the middle of the job) Brushes, rollers (if you settle for the cheapest quality you’ll get brush hairs and roller fuzzies all over your walls!) Plastic dropcloths or old sheets (yes, you will make a mess) A large damp cloth for wiping up small drips and mistakes while they are still wet Stepladder Screwdriver and claw hammer to remove wall hooks, switchplates, nails, etc. Plastic automotive tape to edge windows, trim and carpet Hand cream—you will be so glad you used this on your hands and arms when it comes time to clean up Prepare the surface. Cracks and holes should […]
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Finding the right house for your family is important, but so is finding the right neighborhood. A kid-friendly neighborhood goes beyond simple safety issues and good schools. It should offer plenty of opportunities for your kids to meet other kids and engage in fun, safe activities. Here are a few ways to spot a kid-friendly area. Look At The Parks Just having a local park nearby isn’t quite enough. Different play structures work for different age groups, and some parks may be run-down or better for different activities. Take a drive past the local parks and look for well-kept play structures and grounds. Also check that the parks offer play structures that are appropriate for your kids’ age group. Many now offer a range of structures for varying ages, allowing kids to enjoy them for many years to come. Keep an eye out for graffiti or litter that may indicate the park is a hangout for people you might not want around your kids. Check For Recreation Beyond parks, a neighborhood that offers recreational opportunities for kids is important. Look for recreation centers, local swimming pools, libraries. and more to indicate that you will be able to keep your kids […]
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When it comes to buying a home, the ability and willingness to negotiate is a must for both the buyer and seller. In general, sellers ask for more than they are actually willing to accept and buyers offer less than they are willing to pay. The trick is to find the perfect balance so that you, as a buyer, feel good about the purchase price without leaving the seller feeling insulted. Know Your Market Real estate is a business that either favors the buyer or seller, hence the terms buyer’s market and seller’s market. When negotiating a purchase price, it’s important to know which of the two you are in. As the buyer, you will have the best chance at a successful negotiation if you research the price of other comparable homes in the area before making an offer. Make It Personal When you make an offer, the seller will see nothing more than a piece of paper with some numbers on it that represent the price you are willing to pay. If you really want the seller to take your offer to heart, let them know why you want to buy the home. You can do this by preparing […]
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When it comes to a home loan, the interest rate is a very important factor. It can make all the difference between being able to afford the home of your dreams and having to settle for something less. On a large mortgage, even a slight increase in the interest rate can make a big difference in the monthly payments. Thus, getting the best interest rate possible is the goal of every home buyer. Your Credit Is Key The number one factor in determining what kind of interest rate you will get on your home loan is your credit rating. Keeping tabs on your credit is important for anyone, but especially for those hoping to own a home. Before you apply, you should check your credit report for any errors that you can correct ahead of time. You should also look for anything you can do to improve your credit. If you have a high debt to income ratio it will hurt your credit. Try to pay off things like high interest credit cards before you apply for a home loan, or at least pay them down to a place where that ratio is improved. You should also avoid applying for […]
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Looking to buy your first home, but having trouble coming up with the down payment? Typically you need to have between 5-50% of the purchase price of your home, so here are a few tips to help you save your down payment faster! Save Your Tax Refund—Doing this alone for a few years may add up to a considerable amount to contribute to a down payment, especially if both you and your spouse commit to contributing the full amount. Set Up A Savings Plan—This is a great way to make a regular contribution to your down payment fund, and with accounts that allow you to round up all your purchases and automatically deposit them into your savings account, this can be an easy way to save money quickly. Sell Unwanted Items—This can add a considerable sum to your down payment fund, and is also a great way to get rid of unwanted items before your move. Check Out Government Programs—There are a number of government programs available, depending on your area, that can assist you in saving for a home, especially if you are a first time buyer. Dip Into Your Retirement Fund—Be sure that you consult a financial advisor […]
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