Investing In The Future of Your Home

What do we mean by the future of your property? Well, hardly anyone lives in the same house their entire life. At some point, most of us decide to make a move, and that means selling the property, hopefully for the highest price possible. If we’re lucky, it’ll be a fast sale to avoid the typical, ifs, erms and buts from buyers.

House Insurance, Protect, Home, Care, Safe, Hands

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The question is, how do we guarantee this type of future for your home. Well, you need to start preparing for it right now.

Annual Inspections

You should make sure you are expecting all sensitive areas of your home such as the roof. The roof is a crucial area to inspect because it’s open to the elements and it’s an area that you probably hardly ever look at yourself. According to http://www.triumphroofing.net/roofing/roof-inspection-services/ if you get your roof inspected regularly, you can avoid expensive repair costs because you’ll catch an issue before it gets worse. Of course, the roof isn’t the only area of your home that needs regularly inspecting.

You should also arrange for someone to come around once a year and check out your heating system. If you don’t do this, it’s highly likely at some point it will break down and catch you completely off guard. Essentially, that’s going to leave you with a nasty, expensive repair or replacement and it might make itself known just before you’re about to put the property on the market.

Upgrades

A house is like any other product. Eventually, it will fall out of style. That’s why you need to make changes to the home to make sure that it still looks like every buyer’s dream. One of the areas that you should pay particular close attention to is the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the first areas that home-buyers look at and ideally, you should be think about building a completely fitted kitchen with everything a buyer could want. Do this, and you’ll make your home a very attractive purchase indeed. You can have a look at some kitchen renovation ideas on http://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/renovation/.

Holiday House, Summer House, Home, Country House

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Maintenance

When you live in the house, you might not worry about the little breakages and damages that will almost certainly occur over the years. For instance, there might be scratches on the marble floor, marks on the walls and other issues. However, you should fix these as they crop up. Otherwise, when it does come time to sell you’ll be in a mad rush to get everything fixed in time.

Tech Treats

Last but not least, you may want to think about purchasing new tech for your home. It’s always a smart idea to make your house look like the home of the future as this is exactly what new buyers want to invest in. For instance, right now home smart controls are very popular, and they may even cause buyers to make bigger offers on your home. You can find out more about smart home controls on https://www.loxone.com/enen/smart-home/.

I hope you take this advice and start investing in the future of your property today.

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Essential Cleaning Checklist

Deep cleaning your house should not just be limited to spring or whenever you have a clear out. The best way to keep your home in good condition is to make sure you regularly clean tough areas. Additionally, keeping your home sanitary is the best way to keep your family healthy. We don’t usually think about it, but there are germs and bacteria living right under your nose that could be causing you untold misery. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, and to make your home summer-ready, here is an essential deep cleaning checklist for your home.

Hidden mold

Double-glazed windows are excellent for saving you money on your energy bills, but unfortunately they make it easier for moisture and mold to sneak into your home. If there are any areas that smell particularly musty, you should not hesitate in calling in a mold specialist. Watch out for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, dry eyes, or rashes.

Cleaning

[Photo courtesy of Nick Youngson/picserver.org]

If an area of mold is less than ten square feet, then you can attempt to clean it yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing safety goggles, non-porous gloves, and a particle mask when cleaning. Check out DIY sites for more detailed guidelines on how to get rid of mold.

Water damage

If your plumbing has ruptured recently, your focus was primarily on getting the pipes fixed. However, once that problem is solved, you need to repair the damage that the water caused to your walls and floors. Leaving it untreated could lead to more mold, and therefore more health problems. It could also lead to property damage; whether it is metal, wood, or cement, these materials will all eventually be damaged when exposed to water. Contact ServiceMaster to get the damage fixed as quickly as possible.

Windows

Wash your windows on a cloudy day, once a month, so the sun doesn’t dry the cleanser before you can wipe it off, and start on the shady side of the house. A simple way to spot streaks is to wash with horizontal strokes on one side and with vertical strokes on the other, this way you will know which side has the streaks. Wait for a sunny day to dust the windows because the sunlight will reveal where the particles have settled. You should also clean the window tracks with a Q-tip to get rid of the dirt, grime, and dead bugs that have gathered there.

Refrigerator

It takes more than just clearing out the expired and smelly food to keep the refrigerator clean and  germ-free. Liquids that spill onto the shelves and trays collects mold, therefore posing a danger to your fresh food. The biggest culprits are the vegetable drawers; they are often forgotten until a vegetable starts to rot. Take the drawers out of the fridge and clean them with warm water and baking soda. While they’re drying on the side, wipe down the rest of the fridge with antibacterial wipes. Make sure you also clean the coils at the back.

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Could Your Home Be Killing You?

Sick house syndrome has had a lot of press recently and it’s not surprising given that the one place in which you want to feel relaxed, nurtured and comfortable could actually be making you sick.

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If your health is keeping you up at night it could be the sign of an unhealthy home. Here are 10 ways your home could be affecting yours and your family’s health.

  1. Damp air – damp air is the biggest cause of moldy homes.  Mold spores aren’t just unsightly and can cause damage to paintwork, walls and even furniture, they are actually really bad for our respiration and can aggravate conditions such as eczema and asthma. Whilst you may never be able to completely protect your home from mold attacks you can limit the spread by reducing the amount of moisture in the air thus removing the conditions in which mold thrives.
  2. Dirty vents – if you use an air conditioning unit and haven’t been on top of its regular maintenance and cleaning then you could be circulating dust, bacteria and germs every time you turn it on.  This is because airborne nasties like to collect in the vents of air conditioning units and if they aren’t dealt with they can then find their way through the system and back out into the room just ready for your family to breathe them in. Check your vents and limit the circulation of bad air.
  3. An old bathroom – if your bathroom has seen better days the fixtures and fittings are more likely to come lose and loose their waterproof seals. When water is allowed to get into cracks it becomes stagnant causing all sorts of nasties to breed and not just mold.  If you’re showerhead is looking a bit rusty and tired for example it could actually be filling the air with small particles of lead and other metals that can affect your liver and pulmonary system. An aging bathroom could be a serious hazard to your health.
  4. Poor ventilation – a poorly ventilated room, particularly the bathroom, creates the perfect condition for mold and bacteria to take hold. It doesn’t allow for the good circulation of fresh air and this can actually make you feel lethargic, confused and generally unwell as your body has to work harder to take in oxygen.  Even if you work hard to eradicate the mold these conditions will just keep reappearing if poor ventilation is a problem in your home.
  5. Dust – if you are an allergy sufferer you will know how dangerous dust can be.  Certain kinds of dust can trigger reactions ranging from a mild cough and sneeze to a full blown, life threatening asthma attack.  It can also cause itchy eyes, now and throat and can be very uncomfortable in little ones. It can also contain bacteria that affects the gut over a sustained period of time.
  6. Musty bedroom – your mattress could be literally teeming with life if you don’t regularly vacuum it and let it air.  This is because it gathers over half your bodyweight in dead skin every year and this is the delicacy of choice for bed bugs.  Bed bugs sound harmless but they bite and you will soon notice little lumps and bumps that keep you itching long after daybreak.  
  7. Chimneys and flues – if you have an open fire in your home and your chimney or flue isn’t working properly you are allowing smoke, ash and dirt to circulate through your home.  Just as you would avoid smoke inhalation during a fire as this can be fatal, likewise you need to avoid it on the smaller scale by having properly operating and certified ventilation systems.   
  8. Asbestos – it is impossible to know whether you have asbestos or not, particularly if you live in an older building.  This is one nasty you really don’t want to be tackling on your own so you should always call out an expert to check that asbestos isn’t lurking in the fabric of your home, particularly if you are planning on undertaking any modifications or repairs. Not all asbestos is harmful but if it is it is toxic, which is why you should never remove it without the guidance and help of an expert.
  9. Radon – another common life threatening substance that could be present in your home is radon.  Radon is a gas that is difficult to detect as it is both colorless and odourless but it causes thousands of cases of lung cancer in the USA every year.  Again you should consult an expert to test for radon, particularly if you are in a radon hotspot.  For more information check out the EPA website.
  10. Household chemicals – household cleaners and chemicals such as bleach can be harmful if in the reach of little fingers so always store any poisonous items in a sturdy, raised or lockable cupboard. However these chemicals can also harm you during day to day used in two ways.  Firstly the overuse of chemicals in the home can lead to skin complaints and allergies particularly in the eyes, nose and throat. They can also prevent good bacteria from cultivating which can lead to a compromised immune system and more chance of picking up common colds and bugs.  Try and use more natural, plant-based cleaners for a healthier approach to home maintenance.

If you are worried about any of these common household problems there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy home including:

  1. Regular maintenance – keeping your house well maintained means you are more likely to spot when mold or other bacteria is beginning to take hold
  2. Good cleaning regime – housework isn’t the most exciting pastime but it will keep dust and germs at bay as well as make your home more comfortable
  3. Open windows – help to ventilate that air and you can breathe deeply again
  4. Be vigilant – keep an eye out for problems and act fast before they take hold
  5. Call in the experts – if in doubt call in the experts, particularly if you don’t know what substance you might be dealing with. Your family’s health may depend on it

 

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Don’t Move, Improve!

Moving home is one of the most stressful things you can ever do. Not only that but is a very expensive endeavor to undertake too, which is why many more people are choosing to stay put and improve their current properties, rather than moving to a new place that better suits their needs.

If you want to forgo the stress of moving, but your current home isn’t how you would like it, here are some tips to help you improve your property so that you can stay put without having to compromise on your lifestyle:

Painting Wall

[Photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil/publicdomainpictures.net]

Tackle any Major Repairs

First thing’s first, if you’re going to be staying in your home for a considerable time, you are going to want to ensure that it’s in good condition, which means thinking about the cost of a new roof, window replacements and pier and beam foundation repair cost, depending on the condition of your property. Do an inventory, see which major jobs need to be done and work out a plan for getting the work done and paid for. It will make a huge difference.

Redecorate the Most Used Rooms

If you want to give your home a boost without spending too much money, one of the simplest things you can do is redecorate the rooms that you use most. It’s surprising how much of a difference a new coat of paint and some new furnishings can make. If you do it right, redecorating can make you fall in love with your home all over again.

Build an Extension

[Photo courtesy of  Brian Bullock/flickr.com]

If you have been thinking about moving home due to a lack of space at your current property, it may be more cost effective to build an extension instead. The average will cost around $150 per square meter, so it is not as expensive as you might think to get the space you need.

Install a New Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of most homes, which means that giving it a new lease of life will also give you and your family a new lease of life. For just a few thousand dollars, you can install new units, appliances and floors that will bring the space up to date and allow you to use it to its full potential.

Landscape the Garden

If your garden isn’t doing much right now, you may want to consider hiring a landscaper to give it some purpose. If you create a patio or decking area, install a gazebo and plant some pretty flowers, you can turn your garden into a livable outdoor space, which will serve as an extension to your home and give you more of the space you so desperately need.

Add Eco-Friendly Appliances

[Photo courtesy of  Marufish/flickr.com]

If your home is expensive to run, and this is why you are thinking about moving, one thing you can do to cut your utility bills is install eco-friendly technology like smart thermostats, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances, which will allow you to run your household for a fraction of the price you are now.

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