Tips For Buying a Home

When you were a little kid, how often did you dream of what your future home would be like? Did you image a palace, a fort in the trees, or secret passages throughout your house? Many of us still do. Some of the things you left in your parents’ more capable hands are the things you now must keep in mind when buying your family’s home. Below are a few details that will require your personal attention.

Save! Save! Save!

Everyone who is anyone knows that buying a house is not cheap. They can range anywhere from $30,000 to over a couple million dollars and more. A down payment will usually run you about 5-10 percent of the total price.

In rare cases, depending on your credit, it could be higher. It may take you years to save enough for a down payment on a home. With that said, you are going to be so glad you did it. You will walk into the deal with a great level of confidence.

You are monetarily prepared, it will cut down the gross amount that has to be financed, and you will set an amazing example for your children on how to handle their money wisely. Not to mention, the leaps and bounds you will grow in discipline and patience will benefit you for years to come.

Get To Know Your Neighbors

How many of you are just not a people person? How many of you just don’t have time to invest in getting to know people who are not already involved in your daily life? Between both questions it’s probably a correct assumption that this covers about two-thirds of you reading this. However, when you and your family make plans to move into a new area, it’s a smart idea to get to know some of your surrounding neighbors.

First, this will help you take the proverbial temperature of the environment. It allows you to determine whether or not you feel comfortable with the influences that may befall your children, helps you to figure out if there is anyone you might identify with as a friend, and see overall if your family would be a good fit into the neighborhood group.

Second, knowing who lives around you can be a great asset in an emergency. Believe it or not, it’s proven that if someone is a stranger to you they are less likely to offer help even in the event of an emergency. This could literally mean the difference between life and death for yourself or someone you love.   

Talk To The Post Office

Finally, after everything’s said and done, don’t forget to take a trip to the post office and transfer your old address to your new abode. If you do, Publisher’s Clearing House will never know where to send your million dollar check.

Seriously though, you may enjoy the absence of the bills for a while, but when they finally do catch up to you, the effect on your bank account may do more than break you. Not to mention, no one wants to miss out on things like birthday cards from Grandma, wedding invites, and college acceptance letters. Don’t forget to talk to your new local post office.

In the end, buying a home can be amazingly satisfying, but demands a lot of attention to details. Make sure to tie up all the loose ends.

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5 Ways To Boost The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

Boosting your home’s curb appeal is one of the most inexpensive ways to boost your home’s equity.  For a small financial investment, your home can have a whole new face.  

If you are looking to sell your home anytime soon, you know that an overgrown front yard and a broken down border fencing is not what new home buyers are seeking.  Check out a few affordable ways to give your home a facelift, and make a quality investment along the way.  

Give your front door a makeover

Replacing your front door is an instant enhancement to your home’s curb appeal.  Even a simple new coat of paint can have a pleasing effect on the overall aesthetic of your home.  

If you have the money to install a fancy new door, it is well worth the investment.  The average worth of a home with a new (high quality) entry door rises by about $8,000 instantly once the job is complete.  You could potentially reap three times the amount you spent on the door at the point of sale.  

Repair any outdoor eyesores

If your home has cracked pavement leading to the entry, then you should have it repaired or removed.  Trying to sell a home with cracked or broken concrete makes buyers think there could be problems with the property.  

It also appears that you did not take very good care of the property.  If there are pergola structures or damaged fencing, then you should have it repaired before listing your home.  A shiny new fence looks good to potential buyers.

Landscaping is an elementary step

Landscaping should be one of the very first steps you take when boosting your home’s curb appeal.  Make sure the lawn looks green and well manicured.  Plant a few flowers and trees for visual stimulation, and make sure to trim the hedges.  

Remember that you do not have to spend a lot on your landscaping.  It does not have to be expensive.  As long as your foliage is well placed and cohesive in design, buyers will turn their eyes to see what else your property has to offer.  

Well-placed outdoor lighting is appealing

Adding a little outdoor lighting to your property will not only add a bit of safety, it will also add appeal.  Path lighting and entry lighting are most important.  Plan your lighting strategically for safety and comfort for the best effect.

Replace unsightly or damaged siding

You will want to repair or replace damaged or unsightly siding on your home before you begin trying to sell the property.  Potential buyers will see broken siding panels as a lack of good maintenance, and some people will shy away from your property.

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10 Valentine Wall Arts to Print

This year, instead of spending a fortune on decorations for Valentine’s Day, why not save some cash and print your own wall art at home to add a festive and pretty touch to your home?

I have gathered 10 of my favorite options for FREE printable art to share with you! I can’t wait to hear which one is your favorite and where you displayed your printable wall art!

Bee Mine Printable Art
Gold Foil Printable Love Sign
Valentine Word Art Printable
Love Is Printable Art
Valentine’s Day Ombre Art Printable
Love Art
ABC Love Art
Subway Art Printables
Love Word Art
Valentine’s Art Gallery Printables

 

Aren’t these incredibly cute? I am loving the Subway Art Printables myself. Which one is your favorite?

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Tips For Planning To Buy A Home Once Your Family Has Grown

Home buying when you’ve found yourself with a full house is important. Renters that have started families may want to move into their first home, while families that moved into a starter home and then found themselves with child number two may want to upgrade to a larger home.

Before you buy a home you need to have some things planned out, and you need to have the money to buy a home. While that doesn’t mean you need all that cash on hand, you do still need to know where it’s coming from. Here are some things to consider, and plan out, before you sign any paperwork.

Search Listings And Talk To An Agent

Spend some time online searching through home listings. You should have a list of things that you are looking for in a home, from how many bedrooms and bathrooms to how big the backyard is. You also want to search what areas you’d prefer to live in, which could include looking into crime rates and the schools in that area.

Once you have some ideas of where you are looking to move to you should find an agent to talk to. Your real estate agent is the one that is going to help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a home for your family, and they may even be able to help you negotiate better prices on the homes you fall in love with.

Find The Right Size Home

When it comes to finding the right size of home for your family you’ll have a few factors to consider. One factor is how many people are in your family, and the other are the sexes of those family members. For three or more people you want at least a three bedroom home, but there are other factors that come into how many bathrooms you need.

If you have lots of girls you might want a home with at least two and a half bathrooms. You don’t want someone waiting an hour for the bathroom while a teenage girl is getting ready for her first date. Plus you want to have space for fun in your home as well, the right size kitchen, and a dining room that can seat the whole family.

Put Away Some Money

You should have at least a 20 percent down payment on hand for your home buying purposes. The exact monetary amount will obviously depend on how much the home is that you want to purchase.

You may also want to have some extra money put away, which can help with payments on your home loan, getting items you need to furnish your home or to do any repairs that your home may need.

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Protecting Your Family: Why You Should Invest in a Security System

Keeping your family safe is one of your most important responsibilities, but are you doing everything you can to protect them? Many families focus on small details when it comes to home security, while overlooking one of the most powerful safety tools available: a professional security system.

Though they can be expensive, it’s important to consider the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your family is being professionally protected. Assess your family budget, skip that home upgrade, and invest in a system that will offer years of security to your family.

Choosing a System

Before picking a home security system, it’s important to take a few factors into account. For example, if you own your home, you can install any kind of security system you’d like, but if you rent your home, you should consult your landlord and assess wireless system options. The nice thing about a wireless security system for young families is that you can take your monitoring equipment with you when you move.

Wireless security systems usually rely on DIY installation and you won’t be able to get external monitoring for such a system, but if you’d like to enhance your home’s security without making a big investment, they’re a good starter option.

If you do choose a professional wired system, be realistic about the costs and potential disruption to your family’s schedule. Installation professionals will have to come set up the system, which can include making permanent alterations to your home, and if you want to make upgrades to the system, they’ll have to come back and remove old parts and install new components. Any time you want to renovate your home, you’ll also have to consider whether your security system will be impacted.

Focus on Features

It’s also important to evaluate what types of features you’re looking for in a home monitoring system. Some modern systems, for example, allow you to access streaming video feeds of your home through an app or over the internet. Many people prefer this kind of personal access, while others would prefer to leave surveillance to the professionals.

Another worthwhile feature to consider in a home security system is carbon monoxide detection. Though most people remember to install smoke alarms in their homes, too many opt out of carbon monoxide detection, which can be much more dangerous. You can see and smell smoke, but carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and deadly. Integrating a carbon monoxide detector into you home security system is a holistic approach to your family’s well-being and has become more popular in recent years.

Budgetary Considerations

If you’re not sure there’s room in your family’s budget for a security system, it’s time to reconsider; in today’s marketplace, there are systems available at a wide range of price points. Security firms are happy to work with clients to find a system within their budget. Ultimately, the installation may be somewhat costly, but monthly monitoring typically runs about $25 per month. If you can pay for Netflix, you can pay for a security system.

Crime is a major concern for modern families and we’re all looking for ways to protect our loved ones from danger. Now is the time to go beyond locked doors and trusted neighbors and install a quality security system in your home.

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Should You Take A Loan For Home Improvements?

If you own your home, then you know that there seems to be a constant flow of repairs and improvements that need to be made, but sometimes the budget just isn’t there. So when faced with an array of projects but limited funds, what do you do? Loans are an option – in fact, there’s a specific class of loans for home improvements – but before you take a loan to handle home expenses, there are a few factors you need to consider.

1. Is It A Repair Or An Upgrade?

When your plumbing is leaking, it needs to be fixed. But what if you’re hoping to build a deck in the backyard? Any project that isn’t necessary is a poor subject for a loan. Don’t put yourself in debt for an improvement, but retain them as a safety measure for major problems.

2. Is It Urgent?

Sometimes something is broken, but it can wait. For example, you can do your dishes even if the dishwasher is broken, so long as the sink is fine – it may not be fun to do without, but it’s not the worst that could happen. Roof repairs, however, can’t wait and it’s much easier to find a loan for infrastructure repairs. What’s more, if you leave something like your roof in disrepair for too long, other parts of your home like the frame or floors may sustain damage, causing the costs to pile up.

3. How Much Money Do You Need?

If you’ve got your eye on a project that won’t cost much, but will cost more than you have on hand, a small loan that you can quickly pay off may not be a bad choice. Make sure you have a full grasp on the project before you jump in, however, because if you had a $1250 loan that you could pay off in a few months and then the project turned out to be much bigger, you could find yourself in a debt trap.

Get the most thorough evaluation of the project you can before you get started so that there won’t be surprise costs and have a backup option like a home equity loan as a backup in case there’s a bigger problem you need to address.

4. Can You Afford Quality Materials?

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when getting repairs done on their homes is cutting corners on the materials. If you can only afford to do the project with poor quality supplies, take a loan or wait. Using cheap materials will only cost you more when you have to replace them. Planned obsolescence is inevitable, but by purchasing quality you can push that timeline out.

There may always be looming home repairs, but it’s important to do them right, from funding to supplies and technicians. That’s why you need to carefully approach the prospect of a loan, or else you may default to it too easily and without thorough consideration. Let loan money bridge the urgent funding gaps and be patient with the rest. Those hoped for improvements are going anywhere.

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Saving Money, And Stress, When Moving

Moving is a stressful event, especially if you find you are doing it far too often. People that rent tend to move more often than homeowners, but not everyone has the luxury of owning their own homes. Sometimes you simply grow out of the space you are living in and need to move.

Or, maybe you need to move because of work. There are so many reasons people need to move, and whatever the reasons, it’s a lot of work. If you have children, it can seem even more stressful and like even more work.

Get The Kids A Job

Moving can stress out children and pets too. Change isn’t easy for the young minds of children, and since you can’t really speak to your pets in their own language it can be really hard on them. As far as pets go, consider boarding your pet during the moving process. This not only gives them some relaxation away from the commotion, but it also lessens the risk of a runaway pet while you are loading and unloading all your belongings.

As far as children go, you could send them off to a relative’s or friend’s house. Or, you could give them something to do to help with the move that will relax them and make them feel more like they are doing their part. It can be something as simple as holding the door or vacuuming a room once it’s empty.

Hire A Moving Company

If you really want to take a good deal of the work and stress out of your moving process you can hire some movers. Having someone else do the work for you can be a great relief and leaves you time for cleaning and planning how your new place is going to look.

Make sure to do some background checking on movers before you hire. Check reviews of their work, make sure they are insured and trustworthy,

Pack Properly (And Smartly)

Another, somewhat simple, way to help reduce the stress that moving can cause in your life is to make sure to pack stuff properly. Start off by packing room by room so that you can more easily unpack in your new place.

Make sure to pack breakable and delicate items safely so nothing gets broken or ruined while moving. Also, don’t pack too many heavy things together in large boxes. You’ll just end up injuring yourself or someone else in your family.

Once you are all moved and your home is put together and tidied up, take some time to relax and enjoy your new space. Start your time out at your new place on a good note, not as a stressed and frazzled mess.

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Budgeting For the Weather: Home Tips and Tricks To Save Money

Home budgets are made out of a lot of different parts, but one of the more consistent aspects of it that you can approach through the years is budgeting for the weather. And what this means in practical terms is that you pay close attention to weather and temperature related bills, and find out ways to save money on wasted energy.

A short list of items to consider for this purpose would be choosing the right siding for your home, sealing your windows and doors tightly, planning ahead for seasonal changes, using insulation in all of the right places properly, and doing both long and short term assessments of the cost and benefit of different repairs.

Choose the Right Siding For Your Home

One major way to save money on weather related conditions for your home is to buy the right type of siding. Especially if your home is old, siding can be loose or damaged, or it can be made out of materials that don’t hold up to the environment, or it could be constructed or installed in a way that allows energy to leak out through your walls. An investment in better siding is an investment against financial loss due to unnecessary energy costs.

Seal Those Windows and Doors

You can’t hear it enough times, and you can’t pay attention to it enough times all during the course of home ownership – make sure those windows and doors are sealed! It’s an easy fix in almost every case, only costs a few dollars to get the materials, and can drastically improve the indoor climate of your home while simultaneously saving you money on lost heating a cooling through cracks and breaks between the inside and outside.

Plan Ahead For Seasonal Changes

If you’re in an area where seasonal changes are understood and well-documented, you can plan ahead for weather changes in order to budget and save money as well. For instance, when the weather’s getting colder, instead of automatically ramping the heat up, simply have extra blankets around for the evening, and have warmer clothes to wear inside for a while. It’s a super simple solution that can save lots of money during transition states.

Use Insulation Properly

A lot of money goes straight up through your roof and out your walls when it comes to lost energy for heating specifically. If you don’t have the right insulation installed in the right places, you can practically feel the dollar bills flying away. Either have a professional come and do the job, or do the practical research to see what needs to be done, and inspect your insulation areas at least once per year.

Do Both Long and Short Term Assessments

One things that’s important when it comes to budgeting for weather is that you pay attention to how much it costs to save certain amounts of money. For instance, paying $300 for a new window with the purpose of saving $5 per month on energy may not be the best investment. So always do cost-benefit charts to make sure your budgeting makes logical sense as well as the environmental type.

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Ways to Save Money On Home Related Maintenance

As if buying or renting a home wasn’t expensive enough, there are all kinds of bills that pile on your plate the moment that you live on your own and are supporting yourself and your family. The reason that life is expensive is not necessarily because of your car payment or your mortgage or rent payment, it’s because you have to pay for the little things in life, every day of the week.

Beauty products, clothing, shoes, food, vitamins, furniture, gas, insurance, utilities…these are the things that eat up your finances. They’re little, and unassuming, but piled up, they’re the majority of your budget. If you’re looking for ways to save money, especially in the home, there are a lot of myths floating about that won’t really help.

To really save money on maintenance related things, here are ways to do so:

Shop Promotional Services

The laundry machine isn’t working, the garage door needs a new battery, and the air conditioning unit needs a new filter. These are all things that usually need to be worked on and fixed by professionals. Not only are you paying for the parts to do the maintenance on your home, you’re also paying for the labor of the person doing the work.

It’s a necessary expense, but it doesn’t mean you have to pay inflated prices for a service. To get your home maintenance done, shop promotional services. Companies put them on all the time to garner business. Hire them up for cheap, and maybe get yourself grandfathered into a decent rate for future work.

Do Little Things Yourself

There are a lot of home related things that you don’t need to bring in a professional for. If it has anything to do with electricity or has the possibility of becoming more expensive if you personally mess up during the process, hire somebody up, but otherwise, if you’re inclined, do some research and fix it up yourself. This way, you’re only paying for the materials and not the labor.

Bring in A Handy Friend

If you’re not a fix-it kind of person, you might have a friend who is who wouldn’t mind helping you out for no or little money. Call up a neighbor, a friend, or a friend of a friend and you might get a cheaper rate or labor for free. In addition to that, they might even teach you how to do the fix-it work yourself so next time around you won’t have to call anyone up at all.

Buy Quality to Begin With

Many folks like to buy cheaper utilities, appliances and fixtures when they move into a place, and sometimes this works to their disadvantage. Cheaper things have the tendency to cop out earlier and have more problems. When you invest a little money on the front end to secure a good product for yourself, you might just save yourself money in the long run when your fixtures don’t need replacing in 5 years time.

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Home Improvement Tips to Make your life Comfortable

You spend a lot of time in your home every day, even more so if you have a home office. Because of this, your have can have an effect on how you feel every day. If you really want to make an effort to make your house feel like a home; a place where you feel comfortable, where you can relax, where all of your creature comforts are, and a place where you can really enjoy yourself, there are some options available to you so you can make it a pleasant and enjoyable space. Here are a few ideas to get you started along the way.

Organization Is Key

Most people can agree that when their home is clean, fresh and organized, they, in turn, feel happy and can enjoy their home more. If you have a smaller home, but still want to stay organized, consider a few different products available to help you stay more organized;

– Ottomans and Benches: A lot of the benches today, as well as the ottomans, are stylish and functional. You can sit back and relax on the top of the benches and ottomans, but underneath the lid are spaces you can utilize to place things like books and magazines, blankets, throw pillows and more.

– Coffee Tables: Some coffee tables look really fantastic in a space like the living room, but unbeknownst to your guests, just under the lid is a space for objects like many of the things mentioned above, plus in addition to trays for serving coffee, kids toys, DVD, etc.

Adding Home Additions On To The House

If you want to get a little more space than what an ottoman, coffee table or storage bench will give you, you can also consider adding on an addition to the home. A few of the most popular spaces to add on square feet to are; the bedroom, the kitchen, the living room OR a whole new space entirely like a sunroom, breakfast nook or a den. The point is to add space to a home, but also to add value to a home as well.

 

 

home

 

Adding Enjoyable Activities To A Home

If there are certain things you like to do at home or even out of the home, these might be good additions to add into the home. For example, if you love to watch movies, but you don’t want to have to spend money on expensive tickets, stake popcorn, and having to deal with crowded theaters, you might want to consider adding a home theater into your house. Basements are a good space for this because they are very easy to insulate sound from coming into the space or leaving the space, and if your basement is already underground, its easy to cover up minimal light that might come into your windows. Other ideas to make your home more comfortable; a hot tub on the deck, a pool (underground or above ground) in your yard, a home gym, a basketball court or whatever else you can think of! Not only are these activities going to make your homes more enjoyable, but they can also add significant value to your house as well.

Change The Lights In Your Home

It doesn’t matter what you like to do in your home, from reading and watching movies to putting together jigsaws or learning to sew to entertaining and cooking – you NEED good lighting for these activities. Lighting not only sets the mood but its functional ie; if you can see well enough to do these activities. In some older homes, the lighting is very simple and plain. These days, though, you have a lot of different lighting options available to you, so shop around and see which ones will go best in your home. One of the most popular options is recessed ceiling lights with a dimmer. The dimmer switch allows you to make the space as dark or light as you want to depending on the activity you are doing at any given time. From romantic low lit dinners to bright lights for reading to every other lighting options in between.

 

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Adding Greenery and Flowers To The Inside Of A Home

You might not realize it, but adding greenery and flowers to the inside of your home has numerous benefits. First off, it can brighten up a space and make it seem more happy and cheerful. Secondly, it can add better air quality to a space. Lastly, it can affect your overall mood, reduce stress, and improve your life. Some plants that you might want to add are flowers on the tables which will add color, herbs in the kitchen that you can use while cooking, and even pretty shapely plants like topiary for the corners of your rooms to add depth.

 

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Tips For Budgeting For Home Repairs And Protection

home budget

When it comes to protecting your home and your family, it’s about more than just making sure they know how to dial 911. You want to ensure that if something major happens your family will be safe, and your home will be as well. Safety of your home could mean having the money to rebuild after a fire or other damage.

Your home is important to you, so what are you doing to ensure that you will always have that roof over your head? Here are some things that you should be doing.

Have A Savings Account

If your home is damaged by a fire, a flood, a tornado, or anything else that could possibly happen to harm your home, do you have the money to fix it? Yes, if you are insured they’ll pay for some of it, but maybe not all. Can you replace all of the items lost inside? Restoration services, even in a minor fire, could be a bit costly, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck.

In general, everyone should have a savings account, and within it should be about six months worth of funds to cover everything, from bills to food. This is usually in case of job emergencies, but it’s also good for other emergencies and always ensures you have money when it’s needed.

Get Insured

Most importantly, you should have home insurance. If you don’t you are asking for trouble. It’s just like car insurance, you may never need it, but you still need to have it. Your home insurance, or renter’s if you rent, will not just protect your house itself, but also your belongings within.

If you live in a flood zone, you may need to purchase your flood insurance separate from your regular home protection. Make sure you have it though. The last thing you want is to have a flood only to find out the damages are not covered at all by your insurance.

Practice Safety

It’s also important to make sure that you and your family are safe when it comes to any kind of disaster, natural or not. Practice fire safety in your home, and be sure to have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. Go over safety in the case of things like tornadoes. Have a sheet with important numbers to call and even have a meeting place, in case you aren’t all together with disaster strikes.

Go over all of these plans and run drills on a regular basis. This will help everyone in your family, young and old alike, survive in a home disaster and ensure that they can be better at remaining calm when something does happen.

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Four Things You Can Do To Save Money In The Future On Your Home

home cost

If you take care of your home now you will have less that you need to do in the future. Upkeep can prevent the need for replacing certain things. If you take care of things like you carpet, hardwood floors, and even your linoleum, you’ll be less likely to need to replace these things later on.

Cleaning isn’t much fun, but neither is spending a ton of money on new stuff from your home when with a little effort you could have made those things last far longer. Here are a few things that, when done on a regular basis, can help you save money in the future.

Scrub Your Floors Once In Awhile

If you have linoleum or tile floors, cleaning them is important. You need to clean the grout, as well, so you can keep your floor looking shiny and new. While there are professionals out there that can do the job for you, some simple elbow grease can make your kitchen and bathroom floors look like new.

Use cleaners made for your type of floor. Don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees. And, make sure you get into those crevices.

Get Your Carpet Shampooed

Carpets can last the life of your home, you just need to take care of them. Consider having a shoeless home, which can help protect your carpet from some dirt and grime, and it can help a fluffy carpet keep it’s fluff more. If you want to get rid of indents when you move furniture you can just put some ice cubes there and let them melt, then vacuum.

By shampooing your carpet on a regular basis you will be keeping your home clean, getting rid of many allergens, and your carpet will stay looking nicer for longer. You don’t want to clean it too much if it may cause fading though. Cleaning your carpet, even if you have to rent a cleaner, is much cheaper than replacing it!

Reupholster Furniture

Instead of always replacing your furniture when it gets faded, stained, or worn out, consider reupholstering items that still have a good amount of life left to them. Obviously if you have loose springs in your couch or your chair cushion is sagging some new material isn’t going to fix the issue.

You could also save furniture from the start, especially if you have pets or young kids, by using couch and chair covers, which can easily come off and get washed.

Use Magic Erasers

One last thing, you may not need to replace counters or paint walls when you have stains. Buy some magic erasers first. These things are cheap and can work wonders.

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5 Ways To Save Money On Projects at Home

 

home projectIf it seems like you can’t get your budget under control, one of the best places to start really analyzing and trimming off excess costs is by looking at what types of things you do at your home. Cutting back on certain unnecessarily financial expenditures in that realm can give you significant savings without changing your basic standard of living.

Five ways to save money this way specifically include buying a sewing machine, getting smart kitchen gadgets, using DIY designs, setting up a home budget, and cleaning things instead of buying new ones.

Buy a Sewing Machine

Think of all the times where you have to buy new curtains or covers, or that you have to throw clothes away because they rip, tear, or don’t fit anymore. All of that becomes a significant expense, but if you just invest in a sewing machine, you can handle all of that stuff yourself and easily save yourself hundreds of dollars every time you make a few quick stitches instead of having to re-invest in pre-done work.

Get Smart Kitchen Gadgets

When you think about buying bread, or buying pre-sliced cheese and veggies, or spending lots of time cooking rice or boiling eggs, you realize how much time and money are spent on these efforts. But, by buying practical kitchen gadgets, you can save all of those resources directly, and you’ll even have more of an opportunity to customize flavors, textures, and ingredients. Though there’s an initial investment in some things like blenders and bread makers, the sooner you start using them, the sooner you’ll start saving money.

Use DIY Designs

There’s also the matter of home decorations. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars purchasing someone else’s products for decoration purposes. Why not spend half of that, or even a quarter of it, making your own decorations? And that way, it will be completely personalized as well, instead of being someone else’s presence in your home.

Set Up a Home Budget

And sometimes, all you need to do to save money on your home projects is look at the money that you’re spending. Once you’ve set up a home budget and gotten all of your expenses organized, it’s very easy to decide which parts are unnecessary to your overall happiness, and simply cut them out of the next cycle.

Clean Things Instead of Buying New

And when things start getting dirty or looking rough around the edges, many people just throw them away and buy new things. This can be a terrible waste, as many times all you need to do is look up some basic cleaning techniques, especially for things like leather furniture or certain kinds of carpet.

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Four Things You Can Do To Freshen The Look Of Your Home

clean home

You don’t need to do a complete home renovation in order to update the look of your home and give it a newer, more fresh look. There are a few things that you can do that will have your home looking new, and people will think you put far more time and money into it than you did.

Instead of hiring someone to come in and remodel your home, these are all more simple things that you can do on your own. They’ll make it look like you hired a professional decorator, at the least.

Do A Deep Cleaning

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your home is just clean it. That means more than just organizing your belongings. Actually deep clean your home, with some elbow grease.

Scrub down the walls, unless you’re planning on painting them. Clean the windows, inside and out, and window blinds, or wash curtains. You could even just put up some fresh curtains. Get a steam cleaner and get your carpet super clean and looking new.

Paint The Walls

If just washing your home’s walls isn’t enough to brighten them and freshen them up, consider painting them. You don’t have to buy the most expensive paint at the store, and painting is pretty easy, as long as you tape off certain areas and cover your floor.

Think about painting an accent wall, to add a nice bright focal point to your room. or, you could spend some time on YouTube and Pinterest and find some creative ideas for painting with different textures.

Invest In Some New/Used Furniture

Maybe your furniture is starting to look a little old and tired. Find out if there is a discount furniture place around you where you can get new furniture at almost used prices. Or, maybe you could just reupholster some of the stuff you own, to give it a new look.

You can also find great, cheap deals on furniture at thrift stores. Sometimes the items are less than perfect, but often you can find new and nearly new items used when you peruse the resale shops around your area.

Redecorate On A Budget

You can also find home decorations while you are shopping resale. If you don’t have any luck, consider looking for home decor items at dollar stores or in the clearance sections of your favorite stores.

Sometimes you’ll want to invest a little more money in a certain piece. Maybe it’s a focal point of the room, or maybe you just want something that’s high quality and long lasting. That could be the purchase of a beautiful rug, or maybe the investment in a home theater system.

It’s your home, but you don’t want to go broke making it look great. Save some money by doing things yourself and shopping smart!

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What to Consider when Moving to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has always been a great city in which to reside; the area has much to offer in terms of housing, job opportunities, and even personal growth. This is why so many young couples are opting to make Pittsburgh their home. If you’re thinking about moving to this thriving city, you may want to explore some of the features and activities that make it such an amazing place to live.

A Diversity of Employment Options   

Whether you’re a high school teacher, an engineer, or a nurse, you will likely have employment options worth considering in Pittsburgh. In fact, you could find more lucrative job prospects in this city than in many other places. If you’re skilled in the computer, engineering, or tech sectors, you might enjoy highly competitive wages in your new home town. There is a strong employment market for such industries in Pittsburgh, and you may have a variety of offers to contemplate.

Great Housing Choices  

One of your major concerns before moving to any place is apt to be the housing options. You will be happy to learn that Pittsburgh has a wide range of affordable housing available to its residents. In fact, this city is one of the top most affordable metro areas in the country. Countless young couples opt for luxury apartment living in this area – doing so gives them the opportunity to live in an urban setting and to appreciate all of the amenities associated with luxury apartment housing. This strategy is particularly useful for those couples who are planning to start a family but haven’t grown a lot yet as a family unit.

Personal Development

The ability to explore an area while growing as a person is a top priority for innumerable people. Because Pittsburgh is such an affordable place to live – and because it offers an abundance of attractive employment prospects – you and your partner may also experience much personal growth as a result of living in this city. You can participate in a variety of fun and healthy activities, from ice skating to playing golf to joining a gym. You might also enroll in one of the many community education classes designed to expand personal enrichment.   

Excellent Schools for Children

If you are thinking about starting a family, you’ll be glad to know that Pittsburgh is home to an array of excellent grade schools and high schools. Some of the top schools in the city offer an impressive student-teacher ratio of 13-15 students per teacher. This means that your children will receive the attention they deserve, giving them a significant head start on their education.

Moving to Pittsburgh is a solid strategy for virtually anyone, including a couple. If you are giving a move to this city some serious thought, you might schedule a trip to the area to explore it. Once you can see Pittsburgh for yourself, you will understand why so many young couples are deciding to call Pittsburgh their new place of residence.  

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