Posts in February 2020

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4 Easy Tips to Evaluate What You Really Want in a Home

February 28, 2020
Love at first sight is every homeowner-to-be’s dream. You find a house for sale and love everything about it, from the age of the home to the color of the roof right down to the white picket fence. While you’ll definitely find a home you and your family fall in love with, expecting every single thing to be perfect is a bit, well, unrealistic. Especially if you’re not entirely sure what it is you’re looking for. To help you figure out what you want in a home (and bring you closer to that falling-in-love feeling), we put together these four tips.What Does Your Heart Desire?It might sound corny, but the best place to start is with the question: What is in your dream home? Maybe it’s perfect-sized bedrooms, a southern-facing picture window, a spacious lush backyard… Or perhaps it’s a high-rise apartment in the city within walking distance to restaurants and museums. But there’s a difference between what you want in a home and what you absolutely need. Be honest with yourself about what you genuinely cannot live without. You might also want to give yourself a reality check now and consider your budget. How much home can you afford? And where can you afford it? Now that you’ve got that in mind…Start Assigning Items as Wants or NeedsLook at the list you created for your dream home and work backward from there. Start categorizing each item on that list as a want or a need. There’s no need to bump off wants now, but it’s helpful to keep those in mind as you start looking at homes. With this exercise, it’s helpful to consider what you’re willing to pay more for (such as a shorter commute or better school district) and what you could live without (like a three-car garage or a vaulted ceiling). Remember that there’s a lot you can change about a home (like landscaping, carpet colors, or even a deck). Make sure you and your partner or family are on the same page with this list to cut down on house-hunting bickering.What Could Help You Out in the Future?We get it. You’re looking to move into your new dream home, and you can’t imagine ever doing this again. But the truth is, you’re probably going to move again at some point. So, it’s a good idea to also consider what “value items” are on your list. These items are features that add value to the property for future buyers. Work with your real estate agent to figure out which of the items on your list are high-value items that may come in handy when you’re looking to sell in the future, like hardwood floors or beautiful landscaping.Narrow Down Your Home Search (For Your Own Sanity!)Many prospective buyers start out full of energy and excitement – you could look at three dozen homes in one weekend! You’re ready! But you’re not likely to find your dream home right away. It’s easy to get worn down after you’ve spent weekend after weekend looking at houses. To cut down on this fatigue from the start, take that list of wants and needs, and apply it to your search. Don’t tour every available home in a 5-mile radius of your dream neighborhood; spend some time narrowing down your list. You’ll be happier with the results and will keep your stamina up throughout the entire process. You also might start to narrow down that list, or even alter it all together, after you’ve seen a few homes and realize that an open floor plan is more important than a three-season porch. Finding your dream home isn’t always easy, but it’s within reach. These four tips will help you narrow down the search and evaluate what you’re really looking for in a home.
4 Easy Tips to Evaluate What You Really Want in a Home

5 Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Kids

February 11, 2020
Accidents happen. Any parent with a young kid knows this – whether it’s bumps and bruises or scrapes and burns. It’s hard to think about anything worse happening beyond a bloody nose or skinned knee, but it’s essential to take the time to make sure your home is safe for children to avoid a more significant injury. Here are five ways you can ensure your children’s safety in the home:Watch out for drowning hazards.You would be surprised at how little water it takes to cause a big problem for small children. Never leave buckets of water around, especially outside. Even dry buckets can fill with rainwater, and sturdier ones won’t tip over if a child climbs inside. Make sure pools, or hot tubs are also fenced off with a locked gate.Fire safety is a top priority.When was the last time you checked your smoke detectors? Do you have fire extinguishers in your home? Do you have a quick escape route upstairs in case of fire? Make sure every room in your home is prepared for a fire, whether it’s safety ladders to climb out of second-story windows or a kitchen fire extinguisher. Also, keep flammable materials away from small prying hands, including lighters, matches, stovetop burners, and hot appliances.Avoid falls with gates and guards.Falls are one of the biggest causes of ER visits for young children. Make sure you have sturdy safety gates installed at the top and bottom of every set of stairs in your home. Even a few stairs could injure a young child. Check the latches regularly to make sure they are steady. Additionally, make sure you have window guards protecting children against falls – remember, screens aren’t meant to hold weight and won’t protect against a fall. Any window above the first floor should have window guards.Keep chemicals, cleaners, and medicines behind locked doors.Any parent will tell you – kids will eat just about anything they can find. Keep all cleaning supplies, cleaners, chemicals, and medicines behind locked cabinets or drawers. Don’t rely on tall shelves to help you out here; children can climb or knock things off high places easier than you’d think. To safeguard against a medicine getting into their hands, make sure to buy ones with child-resistant caps.Avoid electric shock or choking hazards by managing your cables.Keep electric cords and power sockets away from your kids, especially toddlers who are curious about different colors or objects. To avoid electrocution, install safety switches (with the help of a professional) that cut off power and use socket covers for unused outlets. You’ll also want to consider how you manage cables. Are they tangled up and running amok? Bundle them up with cable organizers to keep them neat, tidy, and out of the way of small children. There are many ways to protect your children from hazards in the home. Besides following these five safety tips, keep your young child within sight whenever possible. You may not realize you have a bottle of aspirin sitting out, or a bucket of water that filled up during a storm in your yard. But, with a few precautions and a bit of prep work, you can rest assured in the safety of your home and your children.
5 Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Kids
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