How Can You Make Your Home Happier?

When returning home from a long day, you should feel happy. You should feel some of the day’s weight and stresses fall away as soon as you spot the front door. Your home should be your safe place, a haven. What if that isn’t what your home is to you right now?


There are ways you can make your home happier. Not all of them will apply to you, but we’re going to discuss some of the best ways to go about it here. Take a look and you’ll finally feel like your home is your own personal, positive space to feel completely at ease and like yourself.


Personalize It

Start by personalizing your home. Use photos of your loved ones, and other mementos/souvenirs to remind yourself of all of the great times you’ve had and the wonderful people you know. Without personalizing your home, it may as well be a show home. If you’re not planning on selling it anytime soon, make it yours with personalization.



Make Memories

Make memories in your home to make it a happier space. Have your friends over for coffee. Arrange play dates for your kids. Have a lot of fun in your home and it should become more of a positive space for you.


Befriend Your Neighbors

Being friendly to your neighbors can make things a lot easier. You could even invite them over when you have friends over. This allows you to get to know them better, and you have the added bonus of not worrying about noise complaints!


You don’t have to become best friends with your neighbors, but it’s always nice to be on ‘hello’ terms, and smiling when you see them. Plus, it makes the street safer as neighborhood watch becomes stronger.


Make It As Healthy As Possible

Making your home as healthy as possible takes time, so break it down into baby steps. Start by making sure the basics are covered. One important aspect is ensuring you have healthy drinking/bathing water. Tap water can contain more contaminants than you’d believe, and they are bad to bathe in, let alone drink. A whole house filter is a great solution. You can find out more on You can also make your home healthier by getting rid of the toxic carpet, letting in more natural light, and incorporating things like plants and salt lamps.


Take Your Time Making It Look Amazing

Really take your time to make your home look amazing. An aesthetic home that you just love the design of will make you feel happier in an instant. Look at Pinterest and come up with a plan, and take your time selecting things like artwork and accessories. Don’t rush, or you’ll be unhappy with the finished result.


If you really want to nail it, hire a professional interior designer!


Make It A ‘No Negativity Zone’

Finally, aim to make your home a no negativity zone. Shut down negative thoughts and narratives, and ensure you only bring happy, positive things into space. This may not always be possible, but you will often find you are thinking and talking about unnecessary things that only bring the atmosphere down.

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Home Improvement Projects To Carry Out During The Summe

Do you have a never-ending list of jobs to do around the home? Summer can be an excellent time to tackle them. The summer months offer better weather, more daylight hours and plenty of sunshine to help make home improvement tasks easier than at other times of the year.

Image: Pxhere


If you’ve got a home bucket list you’d like to achieve, then make a plan to tick some things off during before summer’s out. Here are some great ideas for home improvement projects to carry out during the summer.

Transform your backyard

Getting your backyard into shape becomes much more important during the summer. If you want to be able to relax and enjoy your backyard space, now is a great time to do something about it. Talk to a landscaper about the possibilities or take it on yourself as a fun project for evening and weekends. Take a look at some beautiful garden trends to give you inspiration.

Renovate your roof

Is your roof looking a bit tired and in need of a refresh? Summer conditions make it an ideal time to tackle the task. Upgrading your roofing and guttering can change the appearance of your home and make it look modern and refreshed, and it’s the perfect investment if you’re hoping to sell your house in one day. Siding expert the Siding King has some amazing home transformations to show you that can help you discover the possibilities for your own home.

Paint your doors and windows

A refreshed front door and window frames can transform the exterior of your home, and summer is certainly the time to do it. Set aside some time one evening or weekend morning to carry out those much-needed paint jobs – the coats will dry quicker, making it a simpler job that won’t take up too much time.

Clean the floors

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried a power washer on your drive, decking and front porch. Power washers are great for giving your home a much neater, fresher appearance, and you’ll be done in no time if you head out during the summer months. Pressure washers are a worthwhile investment, so take a look at what’s available in the summer sales to grab a bargain that will transform the outside of your home.

Install air conditioning

Summer is a good reminder of how hot your home can get and why some install air conditioning could be useful. When you’re feeling the cold in winter time, air con will be the last thing on your mind, so don’t put it off any longer and get it installed. You’ll be glad you did during those unpredictable summer heatwaves. 


Carrying out home improvements during the summer can feel much less of a chore than at other times of the year. If you’re hiring contractors, you’ll have more excuses to be out of the house during the day – meaning you’ll be affected much less by noise and disturbances. What will you do to your home this summer? Start planning your next home improvement project now!

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9 Ways to Stop Your Home Interiors Feeling So Dark

Are you tired of being in the dark when you’re in your home? There’s nothing worse than a dim home, especially when it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Even if it means doing some work and making some big changes in your home, it’ll be worth it if you manage to make your home a lighter and brighter environment for yourself and your family. The point is that you don’t have to settle for a dark and dull home.


So which changes do you need to make in your home for you to make those interiors lighter? That’s a question with so many different answers, and we’re going to talk about them today. Some of these tweaks are very minor and can be carried out in any home almost immediately. And others are a little bigger and take more effort and implementation. Read on to find out about all of them.


Replace Heavy Curtains


First of all, you should try to take the heavy curtains out of your home. These only end up blocking light from entering your home, even when they’re open. That’s because they block light at the sides. It’s a much better idea to replace these heavy curtains with lighter curtains or, ideally, blinds. It’s a simple thing to do but it will immediately help the amount of natural light flowing into your home during the day. So start out by making this change.


Use Numerous Light Sources


Of course, natural light is the most ideal form of light and this is what you should be looking to make the most of in your home. But it’s far from the only type of natural light that you should be making use of. By using natural sources of light, you can make sure that every area of your home is given the light it needs. Small lamps and spotlights can add something new to the lighting setup in your home, so these options should be considered.


Let the Space Flow


By opening up the space in your home and helping each room flow into the next, you will make the whole place seem lighter and generally more welcoming, which has to be a good thing. When you have each room flowing into this next, you will also find that you can share the light between the rooms, preventing anyone room from feeling too dark. It’s something that you should start to work on an experiment within your home as soon as possible.

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Don’t Obstruct the Natural Light With Storage


One of the big problems that people have in their homes is that they want the natural light and then they design their room layouts in ways that directly get in the way of that light. So you should be particularly careful with any storage furniture you have in your home. It will become more of a hindrance than a help if it’s stopping the natural light from getting around the spaces in your home adequately.


Have Light-Blocking Trees Removed


If you have trees outside your windows, it’s possible that they’re blocking sunlight that would otherwise enter your home. You can get these trimmed or even removed from outside your windows. Companies like ABC Home & Commercial will be able to help you with that, so don’t be put off by the prospect of getting this kind of work done. It could be one of the best changes you make regarding the natural light entering your home each and every day of the week.


Be Careful When Choosing Artwork


Choosing art for your home’s walls can be tricky because you don’t want to choose the kind of art that’s going to make the room feel dark. That’s why you should probably reject works of art that have deep and dark colors dominating them and find artworks that are generally lighter and brighter in tone. You’re sure to find something that’ll be suitable for your home. You just need to think practically when buying art, which is admittedly not always easy to do.


Choose Light Furniture and Decor


The furniture you choose in your home is obviously going to have an impact on how light or dark the place feels, so try to choose light-colored furniture if you possibly can. This will help you to make sure your furniture and decor don’t drag down the overall aesthetic of the rooms and make them darker than they need to be. It’s a simple shift, but you’ll be surprised by how much of an impact it can have on your home’s appearance.

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Keep Your Windows Clean


This is another very simple and basic ideas, but it’s one that will certainly have an impact on how much natural light is able to get through the windows. You should ensure both the inside and the outside of the windows are cleaned regularly. This will prevent the sunlight from being blocked. Two layers of dirt really can prevent a significant amount of light getting into your spaces, so don’t let that happen. There are not many simpler jobs to do in the home than this one, so start doing this ASAP


Hang Mirrors


Hanging mirrors is a good way to make space feel better than it really is. And it can also be great when you want to reflect a limited amount of light around the spade. So if you’re struggling to find sources of light, creating more of them is rarely as doable as having more mirrors hanging on the walls of your home, so go or it.


No one wants to spend their time in a home that feels like it’s always darker and duller than it should be. If this is something that’s becoming a problem for you in your home, you need to take action as soon as you can. All of the ideas that we’ve talked about here will help you to make your home lighter and brighter, so put them to work in your home.

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Achieve an energy efficient home

Effective Ways to Save Energy in Your Home This Summer Season


While you might love the warmer months of the year and the many opportunities they provide you to get outside and bask in the sunshine, the summer season can also take a toll on your finances in the form of high energy bills because of your constantly-running air conditioner. Know that all it takes is a few good tips to achieve an energy efficient home and save money on your energy bills all while still staying cool.


Reconsider How You Use Your Thermostat


You might be most comfortable when your thermostat is set at 72 degrees inside your home, but that comfort comes at a price. See if you can adjust your thermostat to 75 degrees, or even 78, to cool down your energy use. When you’re away from home, you’ll definitely want to adjust your thermostat to a higher setting, but investing in a programmable thermostat is even more efficient.


Get Help From the Pros


If it’s been a while since a professional technician has come out to your home to inspect your air conditioner, ducts, and vents, now is the perfect time to change that. A simple cleaning or maintenance check can do wonders for the operation of your unit as well as your energy use. You don’t always have to wait until there’s a problem before you call an expert.


Use Fans


Homeowners who don’t already have ceiling fans in their home will do well to invest in them for the most commonly used areas and rooms of the home. Portable fans are a viable alternative if you don’t currently have ceiling fans or don’t currently have the budget for them and their installation. Ceiling fans can help keep you cool before you have to turn on your air conditioner, but make sure you bear in mind that fans cool people, not rooms. This means that you only want to have fans on when someone is in the room.


Keep Windows and Blinds Open and Closed at the Right Time


There’s nothing better than having a nice cool breeze blowing through an open window, but you’ll want to keep your windows, as well as your blinds, closed during those warm summer days. All that sunlight and heat allowed inside your home can stir up more heat inside, which can lead to you cooling your home longer and more than necessary. You’ll definitely want to keep south-facing windows and blinds drawn during the hottest part of the day, but feel free to fling them open at night when it’s cooler.


Be Aware of When You Use Your Appliances


Before turning on the stove or oven, be aware of the time of day. The heat that ovens, stoves and even dishwashers churn out warms up your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder to keep you nice and comfortable. You’re better off cooking early in the morning or after the sun has set and it’s cooled off. Any appliance that gives off heat or moisture should be used sparingly during the day.


If you have to cook during the day, it’s more energy efficient to fire up the barbeque grill outside. That way, you can enjoy a meal without heating up your home and your energy use.


Now you have a better idea of how to save money and energy this summer. Be sure to remember these tips for the next heat wave.


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Living A Greener Home Life In 5 Easy Steps

Improving the home and living a more eco-friendly life are two of the most common goals in modern society. Therefore, combining the two by building a greener home environment is naturally one of the smartest moves you’ll ever make.


It can feel like a daunting prospect, but following these five simple steps will transform the home in next to no time. Given that the benefits include helping the planet and your bank balance, you’d be a fool to ignore it any longer.   





Boost The Insulation


Heating the property is one of the biggest ongoing spaces that any family faces. Therefore, this is the perfect starting point for your home upgrade project. Installing thicker windows can work wonders for the aesthetic as well as the insulation properties. More importantly, though, you need to consider the roof. From fixing broken tiles to increasing the loft insulation, those simple steps are crucial. Meanwhile, you can make a difference by insulating the water tank with a jacket.   


Reduce Plastic Use


We’re all guilty of wasting materials, and plastic sits at the top of that list. Drinking more water brings many benefits to our health, but installing a filter tap is far better than drinking from bottles. Similarly, opting for a reusable straw rather than stocking single-use alternatives is vital. These two simple changes can enhance your diet and green living ambitions in one fell swoop. The fact that you’ll save money in the long run too is merely a brilliant bonus.




Use Responsible Waste Disposal


Even when you reduce your plastic usage, it’s likely that you’ll be left with a lot of waste materials throughout the weeks and months. This is nothing to worry about, as long as you get rid of it in a responsible manner. Residential recycling services can take care of the big jobs while your ongoing responsibility will keep you in control. Food garbage disposal units are another addition that can transform your kitchen for the better. Do not ignore the rewards for a second. Always consider hiring professional rubbish removal services.


Install Greener Technologies


The market is now packed with gadgets and facilities aimed to reduce energy usage. Roof solar panels may be the big one that we all consider. In reality, though, the simple changes to LED light bulbs and water-saving toilets is far smarter. Meanwhile, upgrading to a modern and digitized HVAC system can work wonders. This is especially true when you opt for a system that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.   




Change Habits


Ultimately, though, you cannot unlock the full potential of your home without using the facilities in a winning fashion. Learning to turn lights off when you leave a room or turn appliances off at night can make a big impact. Having shorter showers or heating individual rooms rather than the entire property can be beneficial too. When combined with some of the other tips mentioned about, you’ll be amazed at how quickly those rewards start to show.   


A green home is a happy home. If that doesn’t inspire you, what will?    

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Leaving Your Home With Goodwill



Moving out can be an emotional time, especially if you’ve lived in your current residence for an impressive amount of years. Leaving your home with goodwill can be the best way to cap off the end of living in a property you care about. While the act of moving from one property to another can be very stressful, you should also try and make some time to remember your property and celebrate the time you spent there. There are many methods of doing this, and most are pretty fun, and help you remember the property in a positive light.


It will take a little effort, but it’s absolutely worth doing. The best things are.


We’d absolutely suggest:


Throwing A Leaving Party


What better way to remember leaving your property than dancing all night long? Sometimes this can be one of the best ways to say goodbye for good, and it can provide closer. Invite neighbors that you have made friends with, friends who visit you often and even family members. If you have spent years at this property it’s likely you’ve made installations with your own investment, such as building an outside deck or installing stacking windows. Why not celebrate with these, as through your effort they are here to help you entertain? Have fun, because this will likely be the last truly lasting memory of your property. There’s no reason for this to be a massive or reckless affair. Just bring people you love, share wine and good food, and cap off the whole experience with beaming smiles.


Donating Unwanted Goods


A great way of leaving your home well is to donate all of the unwanted goods you have to a service like Habitat for Humanity, as they will recycle, upcycle, and help those proceeds go towards stellar efforts, such as building homes for low-income families. This can not only help you achieve some social good, but free you of unwanted baggage when paying the removal men, or save you space in your new property. It very much seems that with this option, everyone wins. You can’t argue with results.


Leave It How You’d Like To Find It


Of course you are under no absolute requirement to deeply clean the property before you leave, unless otherwise stated in your selling contract. However, it’s a nice thing to do, and helps your last memories of the property stay in its best state. Remember too that this is a new home for someone else, or even a family. They have their own memories to form here. Allowing them to feel extremely excited when moving in too is the essence of goodwill, even if you’re not around to see their smiles.


Inscribe Your Name


Inscribe your names somewhere in the property, but nowhere that will cause damage. It might be in one of the hidden wooden beams of the attic. It might be under plaster or under a floorboard. Writing all the names of your family members, the date and a nice message can perhaps provide someone with a smile years from now, or simply mark the property with your appreciation forever. This doesn’t net you anything tangible or financial, but it’s a nice way to always show your appreciation for a property, and it can serve as a small secret you and your family share.


Leaving your home with goodwill is a nice manner of conducting your affairs. With these tips, you’ll have no problem doing so.

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Surprising Health Benefits of Water

4 Surprising Health Benefits of Water

Everybody knows that water is good for you. Staying hydrated is essential to keeping your mind and body functioning healthily, and there are a host of specific benefits that you can enjoy from water, too. According to HealthLine, the average person should drink eight glasses of water a day. This can be difficult, though, if you are living in an area where there is a drought and access to water is limited. Initiatives such as the Cadiz Water Project Twitter are dedicated to combatting this problem. What happens when you drink the recommended amount of water?

There are a number of surprising health benefits that you can enjoy when you drink water regularly and take care of your health. Consider the following ways that hydration can improve your health and well-being, and consider, too, how important access to water is to your everyday life.

Improve Skin, Hair, and Nails

You may not have thought that drinking water would serve your vanity, but it is one of the most powerful resources you have for improving the appearance of your hair, nails, and skin. Many of the problems that you see in your appearances such as brittle hair or nails and dull-looking skin are caused by toxins that need to be flushed out of your system. Hydrating yourself is the most effective and immediate way to do this, so when you drink water, you are beautifying yourself, too. This does not just help your appearance—it also helps your health.

Make Migraines Less Common

According to the Migraine Trust, about one in seven people suffer from migraines, which makes it the third most common ailment worldwide. Did you know that many people get migraines as a result of dehydration? This is because the cells in your brain sometimes contract and expand depending on how hydrated they are, and when they are dehydrated, they contract and inflict pain on the individual. You might visit the doctor and try various medications to try and be rid of migraines, but perhaps drinking some water is really what your body needs. Doing so could prevent migraines altogether.

Boost Your Energy Levels

Drinking an adequate amount of water can also help you boost your energy levels. This is due to the same effect that causes migraines. As the cells in your brain shrink due to dehydration, you lost the ability to focus and stay energized. Conversely, as you drink water and the cells throughout your body become hydrated, your energy levels will be lifted as your body’s water volume is restored. Resources such as the Cadiz Water Project twitter offer further insight into some of the ways water benefits people. These benefits cannot be realized, though, without consistent access to water.

Prevent Many Health Problems

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, water can serve to prevent a number of health problems that can have a serious impact on people. Studies have shown that regular hydration can minimize your chances of contracting diabetes or developing kidney stones. People who stay hydrated are also less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and experience reproductive failures. In short, staying hydrated is the key to good health, and it is important to drink water regularly throughout the day for the sake of your wellbeing. It is even more important to ensure that you have access to the water you need.

There are many other benefits of drinking water, too, that will convince you to drink your daily glasses. Stay hydrated if you want to be well, and be aware of factors that could jeopardize your access to water if you want to retain your access. Keep these benefits in mind the next time you grab for a can of soda and choose water instead.

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A Step by Step Guide of What to Do after Pests Invade Your Home

A Step by Step Guide of What to Do after Pests Invade Your Home

A spick and span germs free home is the dream of everyone. Nobody likes to share their home with a scary, terrifying and filthy tiny creature which can invade and deteriorate your home. Spring and summer seasons are the breeding seasons for these worrisome pests which make your home sweet home vulnerable. Invasion of such crawling creepy creature is not only a threat to your health but is also dangerous to your property. These nasty pests such as rats, ants, termites, bugs or others can lead to acute health issues such as skin allergies, asthma attacks, fevers etc. They can also take an emotional toll; roaches in particular really put me on edge. Over the summer when they’re at their worst, consider looking over this list I found of the best roach killers to take care of them and other creepy crawlies. Don’t take stress if your home is infested, just follow these steps and safeguard your family, home and surroundings efficiently.

Examine Your Home for Pest Invasion

If you find pests or roaches in your kitchen, bedrooms or washroom, don’t take it lightly, your home may be a habitat of thousands of such pests. So, the need of the day is to find them and throw them out from your home. Inspect every corner of your home from rooms to garden and if the problem gets worse, don’t waste time, take help of professional exterminators. They can offer you an effective home pest control services to get rid of these threating pests.

Take Self-Protective Measures            

Many pesticides or products used in fumigation have toxic ingredients which may be harmful to human, animals, and plants. Thus, for the safety purpose immediately evacuate your home before fumigation. You should cover your food items, utensils, and indoor plants. In case of self-fumigation, you should know the process thoroughly and safe-secure usage of extermination products.

Action Plan to Eradicate Pests

Once you make sure safety of everyone and everything from harmful effects of fatal chemicals of extermination, now it’s time to attack a hidden enemy. Spray it at every inch of your home with a guarantee of nothing should be spared. Don’t forget to fumigate outside of your home especially near pipes and holes because these areas can be home for many pests which will ultimately enter the home and breed further if not being taken care.

Precautionary Measures for Future Safety 

Don’t think that your work has been finished after fumigation; you need to be alert and vigilant against these pests for future. Keep your home well ventilated, neat and tidy. Take extra care of your gardens. Clean all garbage and muddy dirty areas near your home and get sealed the dripping water pipes, make your home less hospitable for such insects.  Still, if you find any single insect, take immediate action to eradicate them and prevent them from escalating further. You can also use different DIY methods to tackle them at initial stages by using home remedies such as the use of vinegar or lemon to kill terminates.


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When Health Transforms Your Home

Even with a healthy lifestyle, you can never avoid an accident. Whether you find yourself losing your balance while learning to ski or simply tripping down the stairs, accidents can happen to anybody and especially when you least expect it. As a result, you might find that you need to take some time off to recover your health. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might even have to consider new work arrangements, or temporary solutions until your body has recovered. And, of course, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you might also be able to claim compensation, which can be helpful when sorting out your post-injury life. However, there’s one thing you need to sort out in priority, and it’s your home! Recovery times can be challenging, so you need to ensure your home is equipped to help you through it.


Do you need new furniture? Be creative

You often need to look for temporary solutions with your furniture when you’ve had an accident that affects your mobility. An overbed table, for instance, is a common choice for people who are bedridden for a prolonged period. If you’re worried about what to do with your new furniture and how to integrate it into your home, you can check the creative recommendations from Integrant. You can add unique features such as drawers, LED light or even add an accessory kit with a cupholder. In short, don’t feel you’re limited in your choices of medical accessory!  

Don’t let health affect your mobility


Your home moves with and for you

Injuries that require lengthy recovery times can dramatically reduce your mobility. A hip injury, for instance, makes it difficult for people to take a shower or climb up and down the stairs. So, if you want to stay at home, you’ll have to look for ways to make your decor mobility-friendly. You can use additional ramps in the shower and next to the toilet to help you stand or sit safely. Additionally, you can buy a wheelchair add a wheelchair ramp for your stairs.


Why should you do the hard work yourself?

There’s no reason for you to go all DIY on the necessary modifications. You can organize improvement works and renovations with a professional while you’re still recovering in a hospital bed, for instance. Additionally, if you need to change your furniture, you can also sort this out with a moving company to pack and store mobility-unfriendly items and bring new health equipment. Ultimately, the secret to a smooth recovery transfer from the hospital to your home is to plan ahead!


A decor that makes you smile

Last, but not least, when you’re stuck at home all day and need to navigate through a re-arranged living room or bedroom, changing your decor can make a great deal of difference to your mood. A vibrant and happy color on the wall can help you feel more positive about your recovery and ultimately deal with your health with optimism. Most people wrongly ignore the potential of positivity in health recovery.


In short, when health forces you to stay at home, you can make sure that you make the necessary changes to help your recovery both physically and mentally. Problems of mobility and health-related depression can be addressed easily with smart home renovation tips!


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How To Turn Your Old Garage Into The Organized Office Of Your Dreams


Right now, is your garage being put to good use? You may be tempted to say yes automatically because you know that it’s actually in use. But think about this for a second. Is it really in good use? Are you making the most out of the garage? Do you know that you’re really maximizing on the space? Or is it just currently a dumping ground? The chances are, it’s the latter. Because so many of us never get around to using our garages as efficiently as we could be. Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a home office together, well it’s time to realize that your garage is a great place for it. So here’s how you’re going to make that incredible transformation.


  1. Clear The Junk


First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re clearing out all of the old junk that you have there. And don’t just move it from all over the garage to one side. Make sure that you’re moving things out of the garage and actually sorting through it. Hire a skip and get things taken away that you no longer need. Anything that you do want to keep can be stored elsewhere in the house or garden until the work is complete.


  1. Conduct Any Work


When you’ve got an empty shell to work with, you’ll then want to do your construction work. This means that you’re going to want to block up the door and work in some replacement windows and maybe even new ones where the door once was too. You may also want to add in a bathroom, or electricity if you don’t currently have it in here. Speak to your contractor to work out how much you need to do to make the office possible.


  1. Decorate


From here, you’re then going to want to get some home office design ideas in mind and start the decorating process. You’ll want to make sure that you create a design theme that’s going to be appealing, but also that motivates you to work too. And definitely remember to have fun here, as it’s all part of the process.


  1. Work In Storage


Then, this is the important part – you need to start organizing. Really make sure that your contractor knows you want to keep this space organized. You may want to split it. Have a section where you can store office and work materials, but then also some build in areas to store some of the garage stuff that was here originally, and has no other place to go. This is a great way to really optimize your space organization.


  1. Furnish


Finally, you’ll then want to furnish the space too. Make sure that you pick out office furniture that will be comfortable, but that will also allow you to stay organized too. You’ll want to start your hunt for the key pieces when the renovations get underway because it can take a lot of time for you to find a balance here.

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Does A Beautiful Home Have To Cost A Fortune?

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It is only natural that we want to have the best home imaginable. Our home is where we hide from the world; our retreat that is always welcoming. It’s also space where we can be ourselves and invite the people we care about to share; an entertainment venue all of our own making.


The desire to create the perfect home is therefore understandable. We all rely on decor and design to achieve this. Get these aspects right, and it’s possible to transform an empty space with a few pieces of furniture in it to an actual home. We use renovations, updates, and decorative touches to achieve this, often constantly updating our homes to reflect the latest interior design trends or adapt the available space to more suit our needs.


Unfortunately, there is one potential side effect of all these adaptations, modifications, and home decor perfections: they’re expensive. From renovating an entire floor of your home to just adding a few decorative touches, there’s no denying the fact that a beautiful home can be extremely costly.


However, the key word here is “can”. Yes, a beautiful home can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to achieve the perfect look without spending a fortune, then here are a few tips you’re going to want to keep in mind…


1) Focus on improving your DIY skills


There are thousands of renovation tasks that can improve your home no end, from installing new flooring to fitting an entirely new set of kitchen cupboards. These kinds of changes can make your home look as good as new— but you tend to need to hire a professional to do them.


However, it’s worth running the math the next time you hire a professional to perform work on your home. Let’s say you took the funds you’d pay to a pro, and used that money to attend training courses that could teach you basic-to-medium renovation skills. You’d actually get far better value for money from the latter because your newly-learned skills can be used again and again, whereas paying a tradesman to do a single job means the money only lasts for that job.


Of course, there will always be some renovation tasks you should never attempt to DIY; there’s a useful list of these at, so take note. However, for flooring and other medium-skill tasks, attending a course and learning how to DIY safely and effectively is a great financial investment.


2) Shop at the right stores


As with most things, where you shop for home decor and DIY equipment will govern how much you pay for it. It’s vital that you find stores that are looking to sell items at a reasonable price, rather than charge a huge markup.


For DIY supplies, it’s usually more affordable to shop at stores that are targeted towards tradesmen and high-skilled DIYers. These stores tend to forgo the expensive advertising and jargon in favor of just providing the best deals for people in the know about the items they need. In terms of home decor, that means focusing on the likes of; places where you can buy great soft furnishings without the extortionate markup of some stores. By ensuring that you always shop at stores who focus on value rather than extreme profit margins, your budget for all home renovation and decoration will go much further, which should mean that your home looks nicer as a result.


3) Look for inspiration from blogs, and social networks— but never purchase directly


If you head to sites like Pinterest or home design and decor blogs, you’re going to be encouraged towards high purchase prices. While there’s the occasional bargain-focused account or blog out there, most focus on high-end items. Often, these items are provided to the person making the post for free, as part of an influencer arrangement. That’s fine of course — provided the relationship is disclosed — but it does tend to mean that the items featured on top blogs aren’t exactly accessible in terms of price. Only high-end brands can afford to partner with the most popular influencers, so the price of the items featured tends to be in the high-end bracket too.


It’s nice to see social media and blogs as inspiration for your own home design, but you should never see them as purchasing guides. If you see a look you like on a blog or social network account, then use it as inspiration to create the same thing yourself from more affordable stores. Clicking through to buy the exact items featured in these kinds of posts is almost certainly the most expensive option. Take the inspiration, but don’t be tempted to buy the exact same items— you’ll almost certainly be overpaying if you do.

In conclusion

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By following the above, you should be able to achieve the home aesthetic of your dreams— but without breaking your budget to make it happen. Enjoy!

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Prep Your Air Conditioning Unit for Better Summer Cooling

Prep Your Air Conditioning Unit for Better Summer Cooling


It sometimes seems like winter moves directly into summer, with a couple days of spring mashed between, and this can make it hard for homeowners to transition from one season to the next. If you want your air conditioner to run perfectly every time you turn it on between those chillier days, you should complete a preventative inspection before it gets too hot outside.


Inspect Interior Components of Your AC System


Before you turn the AC on, take a look at your thermostat. Is it getting too old? Does it show visible signs of damage? Move from there to inspect any ductwork you can see; signs of wear could mean clogs or leaks that lead to decreased efficiency and higher monthly bills. Next, move toys and furniture away from air vents, so there’s nothing obstructing the path of cooled (or heated) air. Finally, find the drain line (usually located near the indoor cooling coil near the furnace in the basement.


Professionals, such as those at Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning, can offer tips about how to keep the drain clear and how to prevent appliance wear and tear. For example, it’s important to replace the filter during the year. Clean filters allow air to flow through the system efficiently and prevent many of the problems that pop up when filters are clogged.


Check Exterior Components for Signs of Trouble


The outdoor condenser unit sometimes gets blocked by growing vines, yard debris, and windblown trash. Clear these away to get a closer look at the unit. Make sure all panels are in place and that electrical connections are secure. Take a close look at refrigerant lines; they should be properly insulated without signs of damage. The same goes for any electrical wiring. Eventually, the air conditioner will be old enough that it should be replaced. The bright side of this is that newer appliances often lead to financial savings.


Run a System Test


After visually inspecting the various components of the cooling system, turn the system on to test it while running. Start by adjusting the thermostat to your desired temperature. Listen to the fan on the outside condenser; it should have a smooth, quiet rhythm. While there, check the top of the unit for warm air; this means that warm air is being moved out of your home. Several minutes after you head back inside, you should notice the indoor temperature getting lower.


Schedule Professional Servicing


Most experts recommend that you hire a technician, just like those at Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning, once or twice a year for servicing and general maintenance. If you found any signs of trouble during your own inspection, it’s best to contact a professional for repairs before the heat settles in for good. Remember that good HVAC professionals will provide recommendations for more efficient systems, such as advising you to add another layer of insulation in the attic or to replace an older appliance. Expert advice often leads to fewer service calls and that sometimes means an initial investment.


Without too much trouble, you can protect your air conditioner from damage and early replacement. Work closely with heating and cooling professionals to enjoy a comfortable home all year long.

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5 Signs You May Have an Insect Infestation in Your Home

5 Signs You May Have an Insect Infestation in Your Home


When you think of insects being present in a home, you may associate it with poor housekeeping or an unsanitary environment. However, because of the supreme adaptability of most insects, they have learned how to live among humans and thrive on a whole new level. Even the cleanest of homes can suffer a bug invasion, and if you suspect these tiny pests are sharing your home uninvited, there are a few signs you can watch for that may clue you in about their presence.


1.      Damage to Indoor Plants


If you keep plants indoors and they suddenly begin to look poorly, this may be a sign of insect activity. Spider mites, aphids, and scale bugs all feed off plant sap and can spread from one plant to another without being noticed. Check the stems of your houseplants for clusters of insects or what is known as sooty mold, which can form on the plants as the bugs excrete their feces. If you do discover an infestation on any of your plants, move them outdoors until you can treat them to protect other plants.


2.      Unexplained Powdery Dust


Wood-boring insects and other species may leave behind tiny piles of powdery dust as they eat, breed, and defecate. This substance is known as frass, and while it has recently become a popular additive in natural fertilizer, finding it indoors usually means the presence of termites, carpenter ants, or bark beetles. Knowing which insect you are dealing with may require the services of a professional exterminator, and it is wise not to delay this because many wood-boring insects can cause severe damage to your home over time.


3.      Droppings in the Pantry


While seeing the occasional stray beetle or roach near your pantry is usually no cause for alarm, finding frass, shed exoskeletons, or egg casings may be signs that bugs have discovered your location. Boxes and bags of dry goods present an opportunity for chewing insects that can access and infest your food. Cereal, dried potatoes, and rice are all common food sources for foraging insects, including different species of ants.


If you find signs of insect activity near your pantry, it is a good idea to inspect any cardboard or paper-based containers. To discourage bugs from returning, store cereal and other foods in airtight plastic or glass jars, where they can be kept fresh and safe. Clean your shelves with diluted vinegar and let them dry to eliminate any scent trails left behind by invasive insects.


4.      Unexplained Odors


Some bugs emit a pungent odor when an infestation gets worse, but two that have strong and distinct smells are roaches and bedbugs. You may see roaches before you smell them, but if they are congregating under a sink or in your basement, you might notice a greasy, oily odor. Bedbugs create an odor that may remind you of coriander. The bigger the infestation, the stronger the odor, so if either become noticeable, you may want to have your home and furniture treated right away.


5.      Damage to Books and Wallpaper


Some bugs, such as silverfish, have an appetite for linen, glue, and other adhesives. As a result, they may target your laundry room or bookshelves. They have also been known to eat wallpaper glue. Stored books in cardboard boxes are like a feast for these creatures, so it is a good idea to use glassed-in shelves or keep books in plastic bins with snap-tight containers. Treating a silverfish infestation is best left to a professional extermination company, as these insects can be stubborn and resistant to commercial bug sprays.


Keeping a clean home can help reduce the risk of inviting bugs in. However, if these uninvited guests make their way inside, knowing how to spot signs of their presence can help you eradicate them quickly.

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Putting The Hard Parts Of Moving Into Someone Else’s Hands

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Let’s face it, moving home is never a pleasant ordeal. While you will be excited about your new home and the joy it will bring, it will be hard to focus on the bright side of this journey while you’re in the thick of it. There are loads of jobs which need to be done, along with countless documents and pieces of paperwork which have to be completed. Altogether, this makes for a truly daunting task, and a lot of people don’t feel up to it. Thankfully, this post is here to help you out, showing you how to put all of this weight on someone else’s shoulders.


Finding Your New Place: You won’t be able to move home until you’ve found the new place you’ll be living in. This process has to be completed before you sell your old place properly, or you could find yourself having to stay in a hotel between homes, and this will be expensive. The hardest part of this sort of job will be keeping your eyes open for new properties as they hit the market. An estate agent can handle this work for you, providing an invaluable resource when you’re trying to handle this complex process.


The power of an agent doesn’t stop here, though, as they will also be able to help you with the paperwork you have to complete for the sale to go through. You may also need a lawyer for this, but your estate agent will be able to help you find one who charges fair rates. With all of the hard parts taken care of, you will be able to focus on the fun part of the new home selection process; the viewings. You will have the final say in the purchase, but it is still nice to know what you’re getting into before you get started.


Selling The Old One: The old home will also have to move into new hands if you want this process to go smoothly. Like buying a place, this always comes with loads of legal red tape, and it will be hard to find ways to get around it. Your estate agent should also be able to help you with this, finding buyers on your behalf. You should be careful at this stage, though, as a lot of buyers will work hard to make the price of your home go down. It will take a strong negotiator to get the best price, making it important to research the person you choose for the job.


Performing Renovations: When you move into a new home, it’s unlikely that the place is actually new. Instead, other people will have been living there, and this means that there could be some room for improvement when it comes to the decor. Making some small renovations will be a lengthy process if you do it on your own. To handle this job, you will have two choices; pay a professional or get some friends to help. Paying for this work will always get better results, but may not fit into your budget.


Packing Everything Up: Putting all of your possessions into carefully laid out boxes will be a challenge. To make it as easy as possible, it will be worth coming up with a strategy beforehand, enabling you to put things away in a sensible way. Along with this, you will be able to enlist the help of a moving company for this stage of the job. Businesses like this specialise in helping people to make their move as easy as possible. It can be easy to make your life very hard by accident if you don’t follow self-imposed packing rules.


Moving It All: This is where your moving company will come in really handy. Most people won’t be able to lift sofas, TVs, and other large items in the home on their own. Instead, you will need a lot of help for this process, and a company like Big Man Movers could be perfect for you. Giving you the chance to help as much or as little as you’d like, services like this can be a blessing when you’re moving. Some are better than others, though, so it will be worth reading some reviews, especially if you have particularly tricky items like pianos.


Unpacking At The Other End: Once you get to the new place, you will be faced with the challenge of dealing with all of your possessions once again. This time, though, you will be unpacking it, and this can be even harder. Making sure that you keep your original packing order in mind, it should be easy to move boxes into the right rooms. From here, you can work to position furniture correctly, filling it with items as you go. As long as you brief them correctly, your moving company should also be able to help with this stage of the move.


Keeping It Cheap: When you’re moving home, you will often be working on a tight budget, and it will be hard to make sure that you’re spending as little as possible. A lot of people go over their allotted pool of cash, and this can be hard to deal with. To avoid this, working hard to research the companies you work with can make life a lot cheaper. There is nothing stopping you from getting quotes from every company you can find, ensuring that you only choose those with the best deals.


Hopefully, this post will give you everything you need to begin the process of moving home. When you have a busy life, struggle to move, or simply don’t want to deal with this, getting help to handle the hard parts is a great way to make it less daunting. This sort of approach will always cost more, even if you work hard to keep it cheap. In reality, though, the money you spend will always impact the experience you have, and it could be the difference between loving and hating your new home.

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Declutter and Decorate For a Spectacular Spring Ready Home!

Spring is well and truly here and your home needs to get ready for the joys of sporadic sunshine in the next few months. There is something a little therapeutic about having a spring clean so let’s make it happen for your home. In order to give your abode the full overhaul you need to get rid of the stuff you don’t need that is cluttering up your homely environment. Treat yourself to a bedroom revamp and a kitchen uplift with just a few easy steps. Start with throwing out the junk and then enjoy bringing in the new!

Smart Selling

Cleaning up your home for spring doesn’t need to be a troublesome task; you can actually make some extra money if you do everything right. Your rooms could look a whole lot more spacious if you just got rid of some of your bigger items by selling them online. People love to buy second hand furniture for a discounted price and it couldn’t be easier to send them items if you use Shiply. Your unwanted furniture could be cleared out of your home within a couple of days and safely transported to their new home without a fuss. You will have some extra money to spend on your new furniture too.

Light and Bright

Warm and cosy color schemes are perfect for autumn and winter weather, but you really want to brighten up your home when it gets lighter and warmer outside. Think about adding brighter décor and paint to your rooms such as pastels, neutrals and whites. Not only will your rooms feel a lot bigger but you will also have an elegant springtime feel throughout your home.

Fabulous Furniture

Now that you have got rid of your old furniture by selling it online, you can bring in some new items to match your lighter and brighter home. Try and find delicate and dainty furniture pieces which aren’t going to hog the space in your living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining room. The more compact your furniture is, the more space you will have to rearrange your rooms whenever you like.


Decorative Details

Adding the finishing touches to your spectacular spring home it the most exciting part of the makeover. The small details are what really make an impact on the overall vibe throughout the house. Choose a statement accessory to dress up each room in your dreamy dwelling. It could be anything from an ornate vase in the living room to a dainty set of scented candles in the bedroom. Go for the accessories which compliment your personal style and preferences, so that your home feels unique and special to you.

So spruce up your home and give it a springtime vibe; no more gloomy lighting, bulky furniture and drab decor. Your home will feel revitalized in an instant and you will be loving your new spectacular spring chateaux. It’s time to embrace the springtime vibes, so bring on the barbecues and social events in your new glam pad!

De-clutter Tips

For great tips on how to live clutter free check out this amazing guide!




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Easy Home Security Tips To Implement Today


Your home is probably the biggest investment that you have ever made, and this is why it is vital to do everything in your power to protect it. Home security does not need to be over complicated and expensive either. There are a number of things you can do to improve your home security today. Read on to discover some easy suggestions.

Change your locks – If you have not changed your front door locks for quite some time, now would be a good moment to do so. This does not require a lot of effort, and there are companies like All American Locksmith that can do this for you. It is definitely worth upgrading to a more secure lock, especially if yours are pretty dated.

Make sure outdoor wires are not easy to access – Another step you can take to improve home security is by ensuring that your electrical wires and telephone lines are not easy to access by burglars. Why is this important? Well, if they are easy to access, a criminal will simply cut the wires in order to disable your security systems, rendering them ineffective.

Get your neighbor to pick up your mail when you are not about – Another easy change you can make is getting your neighbor to collect your mail whenever you are not home. This is especially important if you are someone that travels regularly. It is easy to get the mail company to deliver your letters and alike to your neighbor, and this will ensure that burglars do not realize you are out of town. After all, accumulating mail is a clear giveaway.

Use exterior lights intelligently – Nowadays, most lights come with a timer so that you can schedule when they come on and off. This is something that you should use to make it appear like you are at home when you are not. It is also a good idea to get motion sensors installed for the parts of your garden that are not very visible.

Put together a security checklist – Last but not least, it is a good idea to put together a security checklist that you can use whenever you leave the house. This should include checking all of the windows and locks, making sure your security system is turned on, and anything else that applies to your home. A quick check around the house can make all of the difference.

As you can see, it does not require a lot of effort in order to improve the security of your home. If you follow the advice that has been provided, you should be able to add further security to your property without breaking the bank or having to go through a lot of hassle to do so.

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Live Like Royalty With A Bedroom Revamp

Do you want to live in luxury in your home? You should start with your bedroom. The bedroom is actually one of the most important areas of your property. You need to make sure that it’s set up in a way to get the best, most comfortable night of sleep that you can. As well as this, a bedroom can be a great personal space and a fantastic place for relaxing. Here are some of the ways you can upgrade your bedroom to make sure that it’s the ideal place for you.

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Get Rid Of Those Lumps And Bumps


Are you tired of waking up in the morning with a sore back? If so, you should think about upgrading your mattress. There are lots of different mattresses to choose from, but we recommend looking into one with memory foam. Memory foam provides the perfect cushion and support for you, molding around the shape of your body. It will provide the ultimate level of comfort and make sure that you don’t wake up with aches and pains. Of course, if you suffer from back pains, you can also search for a mattress that provides more support for your body and is slightly firmer.


Add A Little More Space

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Kings and queens never have to worry about fighting for space on the mattress at night. That’s because kings and queens sleep in large beds and you should too! King beds provide plenty of space for both you and your partner so you can roll away when it’s time to snooze. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling refreshed after being able to stretch out through the night.


Walk Into Fashion


You might also want to think about adding a walk-in wardrobe to your bedroom. You can do this if you have enough space in your room to convert an area of it into what is essentially a separate room. It’s a great way to make sure that the rest of the room stays clean, clear and minimalistic as you can essentially use this area for all your storage. Typically, this type of redesign can cost up to one thousand so make sure that there’s room in your budget.


Add A Few Spot Lights


If you are more interested in how your room looks, you should think about changing the lighting. You can add spotlights to your room to give it a more modern feel. If you use LEDs, you can also make sure that the room looks bright and beautiful. You can even add a dimmer switch to provide an additional level of control or opt for smart bulbs if you love easy home living.

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Get Electronic Blinds

Last but not least, you should think about adding new blinds to your windows. With electronic blinds, you’ll have the perfect way to wake up to natural light. You won’t have to worry about sleeping in because these blinds can be set to rise automatically like an alarm. It’s a great feature to think about investing in, and you can bet a lot of royals have this option in their own bedrooms.

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Staying More Organized at Home

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If you are constantly feeling like you are in a state of chaos at home, there is plenty that you can do to make like just a little bit easier for yourself. Though we can’t do anything about the demands of your kids or the mess your pet makes, we can give you a few pieces of advice that should help you to save time and not feel as if you are running around like a headless chicken all the time. Here are just a few useful points which are worth following.


Don’t Multitask


Some people think that they are multitasking masters, but in reality, they could do things so much quicker if they simply focused on one task at a time. So, instead of leaving a hundred jobs going at once, try finishing what you start instead. For example, you are not finished with breakfast until the minute that the dishes are done. You are not finished getting dressed until the dirty clothes are put in the hamper etc.


Keep Everything in a Place


There shouldn’t be anything that floats around your house without a place to be kept. If something doesn’t have a clear place, the first thing to ask is whether it is worth keeping at all or if it is simply cluttering up your home. If you decide that it is, you need to work out exactly where it should be stored. You should also get into a system which involves grouping similar items together so that they can be found easily.


Put Your Phone Away


Even if you think that you are only checking Facebook for a minute or two, if you do this 20 times a day, it will quickly add up! To avoid temptation, it may be worth keeping your phone in a different room entirely. You are likely to find yourself with so much time on your hands simply by reducing your temptation to procrastinate.


Never Go Anywhere Empty Handed

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The best way of cleaning is little and often, rather than letting everything mount up and tackling it all in one go. If you never go anywhere empty handed, you are cleaning up as you go. It may take a bit of time to get into this habit, but once you do, you may wonder how you lived any other way. If you feel like the household chores are getting on top of you, you could always look into home cleaning services. A clean home goes a long way towards creating a clear mind.


Make a List


For the larger tasks that go beyond the regular household chores, you should make a list and tackle it step by step. You are better off taking on the bigger jobs first so that they are not left looming over your head.


Hopefully, this list has given you a few ideas that you can put into practice when it comes to staying more organized in your home.

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Elyptol Hand Sanitizer Giveaway

Using hand sanitizer has not always been my thing. I can only imagine how many chemicals get on your hands when you put it in your hands. I’ve always been more of a “soap and water” kind of gal. When I was first introduced to the all-natural antimicrobial hand sanitizer spray by Elyptol I was impressed. I was impressed at the all-natural, the texture, the smell, the moisturizing, and the way it made my hands feel afterward.

I keep a bottle of the spray in my purse, in my car, and in grandson’s diaper bag when I am watching him. Two of the hand spray hand sanitizer came with clips on them. I love how I can hook them on the bag for easy access. It became really useful when we took a trip to Disney World, I did not have to worry about everyone running to the bathroom to wash their hands. With so many people in one place, I always stress about the grandkids touching something and getting germs on them. With this hand sanitizer, I know we are protected by its naturally Antimicrobial formula that kills 99.9999% of germs.

Enter for your chance to win this amazing bundle!!

Win a bundle of Elyptol Gel & Spray #5

I also received the natural antimicrobial formula but in the gel. The gel substance does not dry out your hands like the regular gel hand sanitizers. Not only does it not dry out your hands but also helps with moisturizing your hands. I keep this one in my bathrooms beside the sink, at my office at work, and also in my bathroom at my office. I just currently had to replace the one in the office bathroom so I’m assuming it is getting used a lot.

I am very impressed with this product. It made me go from a “soap and water” gal to “I can’t live without this hand sanitizer” gal.

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10 Steps to go from a Renter to a Buyer

Home buying can be scary! Especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck and see no way out of it. I want to share some quick tips on how to go from paying way too much on rent to actually owning your own home.

  1. Apply at a mortgage company, this will tell you what you can afford and how much your payments will be. I love using local agents and highly recommend Guild Mortgage. Not only can they help you understand the process but they will give you suggestions on how to bring your score up and what the benefits are.
  2. Find an amazing agent. This is the important part. Your agent needs to understand and know the market, represent the buyer and make sure the worth of the home is in line with the asking price. Your agent will negotiate a better deal for you and hopefully help you with paying little to no closing cost! This is my specialty!
  3. Decide what criteria is most important, unless you are going to build a home, none will have everything you will want so you make a list of the must-haves and go from there.
  4. Start the search, your agent will want to set up several homes for you to view, sometimes it only takes one home but most of the time it takes more. Do not feel bad if you don’t find one you like the first time around. Usually, you are excited and nervous and need to see several before making such a big decision.
  5. Pick your home. After finding your perfect home, the negotiating begins! This is where it is extremely important to have a good agent! They will handle all of the legal requirements and paperwork and make sure you are being represented for the best deal possible.
  6. Once an offer is accepted and under contract you will give an escrow check. Usually, it is 1% of the sales price so on a $100,000.00 home you are looking at a $1000.00 check.  This will get deposited by the title company and kept until closing at which time it will be deducted from your amount owed. It is like an insurance payment.
  7. Then you will have the option to have an inspection and termite inspection done. This will be paid up front by you the buyer. Depending on the market the average is around $350.00 for inspection and $100.00 for termite inspection.
  8. The survey and other fees can and should be negotiated by your agent. I usually ask the seller to cover these. To lessen the amount of cash my buyer needs to have on hand.
  9. Closing, at this point you are out $1000.00 plus or minus for escrow, inspections $500.00 plus or minus and now the closing which is usually 30 days after you have signed the contract. Here you are required to pay whatever percentage the mortgage company decides. Some can pay as little as 1%, all the way up to 20%. You can ask for the best deals but by knowing this ahead of time you can start saving!! If it is only 1% you can purchase a $100,000.00 home for $1,000.00 down. Total cost would be around $2500.00.
  10. Welcome home, a lot of times people don’t realize their house payment is less than what they rented for!

Owning a home is the American dream. I would love to hear if you are a homeowner and how you saved money in the process!


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