Browsing Category: "House and Home"

Top Tips To Keep Burglars Away

Your home is your fortress. Make sure no one can break into your house while you’re at work or on vacation. Don’t take your home security for granted. When you buy a new house or an apartment don’t forget about security check. This information will help you in eliminating your weaknesses, thus increasing your home security level. Over time, many people forget to re-evaluate their homes for security flaws. Some people forget to fix their window locks and replace the broken bulb. These little things can compromise your safety when you least expect it.

Re-examine your home security with the following steps:

Secure your entrances

Replace your entrance door with a durable solid core metal or wooden door. Avoid having a front door with a large window, otherwise burglars would break it  in order to get inside. Prefer installing thick bolt locks on all your entrances. Many burglars kick front doors to enter houses. That’s why you need to have a reliable lock to defend your home against any burglar.

christmas, holiday, home

[Photo courtesy of pixabay/pexels.com]

Don’t forget to change the locks when you move to a new apartment. You never know who has a set of spare keys to your new home. This minor investment would help you avoid any major loss.

Windows and glass doors

Deadbolt locks would secure all your windows and sliding glass doors. Sliding doors provide an easy access to burglars; don’t forget to lock them every night and before you leave the house. Burglars love broken window locks. Examine all your windows and change loose or broken locks.

Spare key

Hiding your front door key under the doormat is a cliché. Every burglar would search for the key under the doormat, flower pot or on top of your door frame. These most common hiding spots caused a lot of troubles in the past.

Give your spare key to a trustworthy neighbor or a close friend who would help you when you lock yourself out and water your flowers when you’re away. Even if you think your key is hidden in a secure place, a creative burglar would always find it.

break in, brutal, burglar

[Photo courtesy of Tookapic/pexels.com]

Take care of your garden

Trim the bushes in front of your windows. Burglars can hide behind overgrown trees and bushes; make sure that your garden plants are not blocking your windows. Avoid planting a tree in close proximity to your house. A burglar can climb the tree and enter your house through unlocked sliding door on the upper floor.

If you have a big garden, consider installing motion detectors around your house. Burglars don’t like well-lit places; they prefer hiding in the dark.

Home insurance plan

Home insurance policy would add an extra layer of security for you. Homeowners should get several homeowners insurance quotes before choosing the best option. Comparing the rates and quotes would help you evaluate your options and understand what’s best for you and your family. Keeping aware of security plans makes sense. If you have a home insurance plan you would feel more comfortable leaving your house for several weeks when you travel.

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The Things I Wish I Knew When We Bought Our First Home

For most young people, buying a house is synonymous with freedom. Finally, you can do whatever you want in your home without worrying about what the landlord might say or about getting your deposit back. It is yours, and to put things clearly; you can put as many holes in the walls as you want to. Except, naturally, that buying a house brings a lot more than just a new sense of freedom. There are responsibilities — on the financial and on the practical sides for instance —, compromises and the discovery of new skills too. Buying a house together is truly the beginning of a new adventure. Unfortunately, for a lot of couples, it can also bring serious disagreements and difficulties to their relationship. In the end, the best way for yourself to prepare for this exciting journey into an unknown universe — the land of home ownership — is probably to hear about it first hand from those who made the journey and survived it!

Moving into your first home

#1. First things first: How much can you afford?

Does it need saying? Buying a home is naturally an important investment, and it’s likely to be the first of its kind for you. Most couples choose a combined mortgage option when they buy their first home, as it is one of the easiest options. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t look for other mortgage offers. To keep things basic, the more you borrow, the more you will have to repay. So it’s always a good idea to work with a housing loan calculator to determine first how much you can afford to pay back over a period of time. Sometimes, you might find that it’s easier to save or borrow from your friends or relatives to pay a large deposit on the house and be able to take a loan on a smaller amount.

Home, Money, Euro, Coin, Coins, Bank Note, Calculator

[Photo courtesy of AlexanderStein/pixabay.com]

 How much can you afford?

#2.It’s all about money and planning

Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that the cost of your home is the cost of your loan. It is far from it, especially if you hadn’t taken any renovation project into account when you agreed on a price. Affording home improvements can be especially stressful if you’re not used to it. But do you know that you don’t need to rely on an FHA loan to finance your home improvements? Indeed, first-time buyers can also focus on eco-friendly transformations that can be funded by governmental bodies, for example. For extensive renovation works, you can apply for a construction loan or borrow from your 401(k).

#3. Budget as a couple

In fact, the decision to buy a home together marks for couples the first struggle to keep a budget that cares for their individual and common financial needs. You may be used to keeping your own budget, but a couple budget is a whole new kettle of fish. For a start, you need to define your household needs in terms of mortgage repayment, bills, groceries, etc. These, while they are common, will be different to the kind of budget you had BEFORE you bought a house. Additionally, it’s essential that you and your partner agree on the long-term saving goals. There’s no point working towards separate goals.

#4. Combining furniture or buying new?

For some couples, buying a house is the first time they will be properly moving in together — it’s not uncommon for couples to spend time together but keep their separate apartments until they are ready to move in together properly. You might think that the hardest part about this is to share private details through the cohabitation. But believe it or not, most couples report that the hardest part of moving in together is combining their styles and furniture. Indeed, you need to be prepared to get rid of as much of your stuff as you expect your partner to. It’s only fair to keep the best of your common belongings, and it’ll avoid arguments in future. Besides you can also focus on buying new pieces of furniture together.

#5. You’re emotionally ready for the life together

Buying a house together might sound like a good idea. But you need to ask yourself first if you’re ready for this kind of commitment. Cohabitation becomes real when it’s in your own home. In a tenancy agreement, you can leave whenever you want. If it’s your home, you can’t leave. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re ready to move in together for real. Living with the person you love requires accepting levels of intimacy that you may not be prepared to deal with just now. For instance, as silly as it might sound, being able to talk openly about your choices, aspirations and desires for your relationship is a crystal-clear giveaway that you are ready for the move. The best test, though, is to observe how you interact with each other when you’re dealing with stress or financial issues, as these tend to be relationship killers.  

#6. You need to establish some basic rules

Buying your first home also means being ready to accept and share the responsibilities that come with it. You’ve guessed it right: Household chores are a big area of disagreement for couples. Indeed, as both partners often work in modern relationships, household chores need to be shared fairly between both of you. If you prefer doing the laundry while your partner enjoys washing up, then you can simply stick with your eras of expertise or preferences. Admittedly, nobody really enjoys doing chores, but you can work on the basis of things you don’t hate doing instead, as it’s a healthy way of sharing tasks.

#7. Create your decor together

Ah decorating. Who doesn’t love decorating? However, when you buy your first home together, you need to establish a fair approach to your interior decor. It’s not only a personal matter; it’s a matter of shared personal tastes. If you’ve got two different styles, it can be fun to blend both approaches to create an in-between style that will keep your decor eclectic and exciting. You will find the decorating exercise can get a lot easier if you can agree on a common palette of colors that can bring everything together. As a rule of the thumb, though, a good palette consists of five color schemes — by color scheme, we mean blues and grays, for instance, that offer many variations without one theme.

#8. Discover the joys of DIY

You can’t move happily in a house without knowing anything about the most basic home repairs. In fact, you will soon find yourself checking online tutorials to find out how to unblock the toilet or how to clean your grout. While nobody expects you to become a plumbing expert or a qualified electrician, your home maintenance requires some basic DIY skills. Tiling, painting, repairing wood or metal surfaces with filler compounds, or fixing the tap on the sink are essential requirements that every handy(wo)man needs to learn. And don’t leave it to the man in the house simply because he is a man! There’s no room for sexism in home maintenance!

Office Worker, Garage, Worker, Work, Man, Repair

[Photo courtesy of Free-Photos/pixabay.com]

Get your DIY tools with your first home

#9. Give your home a  housewarming party

You might be considering throwing a big housewarming party for your friends and neighbors. If you can; don’t skip on the party as it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a new neighborhood. But remember that once the party is over, you’re the one left to clean. So keep it civilized, friendly and alcohol-light!

In the end, there is a lot to consider when you decide to buy a home together. Your finances; of course; are a priority. But your relationship, your personal preferences and your ability to work together will transform your house into a home. Don’t be fooled: It won’t be perfect every day. But that’s okay because with time and goodwill great things happen.

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Essential Tips When Buying A New Home and Car

This is a sponsored post. 

Buying a new home needs careful planning and consideration. Most home-buyers focus on the price and location of the home they want to purchase. The house condition and its age is an important factor for most home-buyers because of the maintenance, upgrades and cost of repairs.

Finding the right home is not always an easy task just like finding the right car it can be an overwhelming process and emotionally draining to home-buyers.  But with the technology today and right research, there are many different resources where to get complete and helpful information that you need when purchasing a new home or car, just take for example cars.com when you are planning to buy a new car.  Their website have a huge selection of information and resource to teach you on your potential car purchase. They provide extensive reviews and essential information about a wide variety of different cars, it is either used or new.

Silver Sedan at the Back Og Silver Station Wagon during Daytime Near Brown Painted House

[Photo Courtesy of Pascal Renet/pexels.com]

And just like doing a good research when buying a new car, a good research  and doing home inspection is a very essential too when purchasing a new home for your own satisfaction by visually evaluating the home’s condition and identifying the problems with the house.  Although, generally speaking, the seller is not required to make repairs if problems are discovered during a home inspection but not to disappoint or cancel the deal often times the seller agrees to make a repair.

Visiting different realtors and car dealers is essential to find the best deal especially when you are buying an old house or a used car.

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Tackling an Overgrown Garden in 6 Simple Steps

Tending to a garden can be a rewarding experience, as a well-kept garden always works well to improve the overall appearance of a house. However, it is also true that keeping a garden looking neat and tidy can be an extremely time-consuming task (and time is something that not many of us have to spare). It does not take much for a garden to start looking overgrown, and if action is not taken, things can very easily get out of hand. In many cases, the problem is deciding where to start from. If your garden is showing signs of neglect, these simple steps can help you get it back to looking its best.

Back to the Basics

Take a walk around the garden and make a note of everything that might look out of place. This includes any plants, flowers, or shrubs that have grown too far outside their original shape. Get your pruning scissors out and start cutting back. Keep an eye on the state of overgrown plants though, as in some cases they might have been starved to a point in which they will never grow back. If this is the case, simply dig them out and focus on starting with a blank soil canvas.

garden

[Photo courtesy of Creative Vix/pexels.com]

Know your Weeds

Again, you need to assess the damage caused by weeds before deciding your next step. If the soil looks like it has been completely invaded by weeds, it is time to take some serious action and invest in a good-quality chemical weed killer. Also, identify the type of weeds that seem to predominate. Bindweed, docks, horsetail, and nettles can be notoriously difficult to get rid of, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few tries before you can eliminate them completely. If the situation is not too bad, avoid chemical weed killers and opt for mulching instead (see next section).

By this point, you might have a large amount of garden waste in your property. It is useful to hire a man and van service to clear your garden and give you more time to focus on getting it back into shape. Specialized man and van companies like Anyjunk can also provide mini-skips and skip bags, which you can keep until your garden makeover is complete.

Mulching

Mulch has two main functions: aesthetic (as it can rapidly improve the unkempt appearance of a garden) and functional (because it can be used to treat gardens that have been overrun by weeds). To deprive weeds from light and stop them from reproducing, you will need to add a mulch layer of at least 2 inches. Whenever possible, go for an organic mulch, as it will give your garden soil additional levels of moisture and nutrients.

White Flower Close Up Shot

[Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske/pexels.com]

Plan and Design

You can now start planning how you want your garden to look like. Think about the garden boundaries, repairing or cleaning hard surfaces like steps or paths, and fixing, discarding, or adding structural elements such as pergolas, gazebos, sheds, beds, or arches. Also, decide on whether you want a purely ornamental garden, something more functional, or a bit of both. Do you want/need trees, shrubs, vegetables, or flowers? If you usually don’t have much time to tend to the garden, keep it basic and easy to care for.

Shape It!

The job is almost done and it is now time to give shape to your garden. Use techniques like edging or framing to add structure and to keep things under control. You can also consider adding garden ornaments, like sculptures, furniture, or fountains. The trick is to be creative and to make sure that your garden reflects the style of your home.

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