Ro Caddick-Kilduff's Blog
With Christmas behind us and winter looming ahead of us for however many months it chooses this year, you may find yourself spending more time cozying up in your bed. While this is a delightful sentiment, it might not be as pleasant as it sounds if your bed leaves you with aches and pains after what should be a restful time.
Maybe the mattress companies know something
Winter is that time of year when mattresses tend to go on sale. If you are one of the many people who spend more of your time in bed during the winter, then maybe you can understand this. It is the time when people tend to have a chance to notice how their bed leaves them feeling and, if they don’t like it, the desire to change—pronto.
Don’t be too hasty
“Immediately” sounds like a good idea when you wake up with a crick in your neck and a rock in your back. But, it’s good to slow down a little to make sure that this will be a decision that you will be able to enjoy for many nights to come.
Know your budget
Knowing what your budget is before you go helps you to narrow down your choices from the get-go. But, don't be afraid to look at one a little higher in price and negotiate it down to the budget that you have. Mattress companies can have their products marked up to twice the amount that they are willing to take for them. Keep in mind that the warranties are usually limited based on the use of a mattress protector so, ask the seller to include one in the purchase of the bed.
Know what you need
Go in knowing what you don’t like about your current bed and what position(s) you sleep in the most. In today's market, there are all kinds of options including beds for folks who are multi-sided sleepers (for example, both back and side) and a salesperson that knows the product and directs you to the best options on the showroom floor.
Don’t be afraid to shop around
Shopping more than one store gives you the ability to know you are making a sound decision. Most stores will not have the same selection—even if they sell the same brand. What you can try will be important. While you are at different stores, you may find out just how much adjustment room there is in the price. And, you are more likely to see the salesperson’s true qualities when you tell them you are looking and not making an immediate purchase. It is good to find someone that you can trust since this can help make the process smoother. If one person can go lower, so can someone else. It is a good idea to find a place that has a “love it” mattress guarantee. There is no sure way to be completely confident that the one you chose in the store will sleep well for hours at a time. A warranty gives you peace of mind.
Sleep well on your new bed
Whether you find the perfect bed and sales assistant on the first try, or it takes a few tries to locate it, give yourself some time. It will be worth the effort when you are enjoying your bed at home knowing that you made a good choice.
You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance.
Depending on what’s the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property they’re about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to “wash their hands” of the property. The buyer won’t need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes.
Home warranties aren’t very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium.
How Do The Warranties Work?
The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know there’s a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.
Is Anything Not Covered?
A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:
Outdoor fixtures and plumbing
Indoor plumbing fixtures
Some appliances may not be covered
Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review what’s covered before you finalize any home warranty. It’s an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.
If you’re making the transition from renting an apartment to buying a home, it can be difficult to ensure you have a place to stay while you search.
There are a number of reasons you may need temporary housing while house-hunting. Maybe you’re moving to a new state and need temporary housing while you search in the area. Or, maybe you just don’t want to sign a year-long lease on a new apartment that you don’t plan on staying in for a full year.
Regardless of the reason, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to find temporary housing while you navigate your way toward homeownership.
Short-term rentals and sublets
One of the most convenient way to rent an apartment while you search for a home is to simply find short-term rentals.
Landlords use leases for a number of reasons. Among them is knowing that they can count on a tenant to stay long enough to be worth the hassle of going through the rental process.
However, there are some landlords who cater to people who need to rent for only a certain amount of time--namely business professionals and college students. Landlords rent to these people with short-term leases because they are certain that they will get the full lease amount in pay.
Similarly, searching for sublets is a good way to find an apartment on the short-term. Sublets are often cheaper than their normal renting price because the tenant needs to find someone soon. You’re especially likely to find a sublet if you plan on moving in May or June when college students are going home for the summer.
Another service that could be helpful is Airbnb. Many people think of Airbnb as a tool for finding a vacation home or spare room while traveling. However, there are also a number of short-term rentals on the site. You can simply enter the dates you’re planning on staying and compare results. Just be sure to read reviews of the house to be sure that you’re dealing with responsible and trustworthy property managers.
Words of caution
While short-term rentals can save you money while you search and help you avoid a lease, they do come with risks. For example, if renting off of Craigslist, never send sensitive data, payments, or bank account information before verifying that they are actually the manager of the property.
If you do decide to sublet an apartment, take photos when you move in so that tenants or landlords don’t try to hold you liable for any damage caused before or after you leave.
Finally, if you decide to go with a service like Airbnb or extended stay hotels because they appear cheaper than renting, remember that you won’t be able to store your belongings there and might have to pay for storage and a moving truck to transport your belongings. These extra fees can add up quickly over a couple months.
Once you’ve determined your options for temporary housing, hunting for your new home will become much easier.
It is common to renovate a house when there is a need to make it more beautiful and more comfortable for those in it. It is essential to consider the home renovation plans as a project that needs a budget and proper planning.
A great way to handle a home renovation is to plan it like a project and divide it into sections and sub-plans. This way, it becomes easier to manage all the different parts both concerning resources and finances. If you are actively looking to renovate your home without getting yourself stressed, here are a few tips to consider so that your home renovation project turns out both beautifully and within budget.
- Divide and conquer: The first thing a home renovation contractor or architect will ask for is the scope of the plan and the budget expected for the entire project. By knowing how far the project is going to go, it becomes easier to divide it into different phases. Each phase will then have objectives and timelines.
- Make a budget: Since the funds available for the project are limited, it is important to know how much each stage should cost and then set the funds aside for it. Making a budget helps to get a good idea of what is achievable compared to what you desire.
- Bathrooms are essential: Bathrooms are manageable to renovate as there are many quality, inexpensive parts that can bring a bath into the 21st century. Plan for a new toilet fixture, paint, cabinet paint, shower heads and some other materials to do a total makeover of your bathroom on a budget. The overall effect of the result will be worth more than the sum of the parts.
- Kitchen and storage: Increasing storage space in the rooms and kitchen is usually one of the main aims of home renovation. Home renovation is a perfect opportunity to de-clutter the kitchen and improve on your cabinets. Speak to the home renovation contractor and plan on either building new kitchen cabinets or buying pre-fabricated ones from the hardware store. If the existing kitchen cabinets are sufficient for you, then a fresh coat of paint and a refresh of the locks, hinges, and handles should suffice to give it a new look.
- Change the doors: The first thing people typically notice about a house is the door. A great way to get a beautiful result from a home renovation project is to make sure to replace the doors. If brand new doors are not in the plan, then repainting the existing ones in a color that blends better with the new house color is an excellent way to re-accentuate them and still give visitors that "new home" welcome.
The key to renovating a house beautifully without spending too much is to have a big-picture plan and take it step-by-step. Speak to a home renovation expert today for an estimate of likely renovation costs for your house.
Moving into a new home is an exciting time. There is so much to do with packing up the old place, closing on the purchase, and moving in that you probably haven’t spent much time wondering what your new home is like early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. After visiting your new home just a few times during the buying process, you may be unprepared for how your home appears at different times of the day.
Then, one morning, you wake up, look around and think it’s still night because you don’t see light streaming into your home the way it did into your fourth-floor walk-up apartment. You feel the walls closing in and wonder if it was all a mistake.
What’s up with that?
If the home is older, it might have fewer windows. In an effort to conserve energy and lower heat and air conditioning bills, older home designs had less glass exposure. Of course, modern improvements to thermal windows makes this less necessary, but if you’ve purchased an older home, or are planning to, consider some of these alternatives for brightening up your space.
- Remove heavy window coverings and curtains and opt for more sheer versions or install adjustable blinds to let in more light. Not only will this brighten things up, but it will also give your home a modern, clean, minimalist vibe. Lighter colored blinds reflect more light than wood, and lighter natural woods reflect more than darker ones.
- Shine light on the walls and the ceiling. Adding a couple of floor lamps that direct light up the walls and onto the ceiling can brighten up any room. Or, add sconces to brighten things up in dark hallways and smaller rooms. Choose lamps without shades, or with very light shades to maximize the brightness.
- Use paint to add light to the room. Interior paints are rated by their LRV (light reflective values). Before choosing a paint color, learn where it falls on the scale (from zero to 100%). Paint dealers can help you choose colors that have a higher LVR so that your home reflects more light. Often, the LRV is listed in the color “fanbook” or on the paint swatch. The higher the value, the more light reflects into the room.
Consider buying sample sizes and paint swatches on the walls so that you can view the paint in all light ranges throughout the day. If painting swatches on your walls makes you cringe, hang up a piece of butcher paper and paint the swatches on it. That way, you can quickly take it down when your mother-in-law pops in for an unexpected visit.
- Make glass and metal your friend. Reflective surfaces found in mirrors, blown glass decorations, and metallic art helps bounce light around the room. Placing two mirrors opposite each other gives infinite reflections that open a room or give life to a dark hallway. Or, place crystal vases or brass candle holders in the darker area. Frame photos and art with metallic frames.
- In the kitchen and bath, add reflective surfaces such as glass or metallic tile to backsplashes and showers. Chrome reflects more that brushed surfaces such as nickel, so opt for those in your bath and kitchen fixtures.
- If renovations are in your future, consider a more open concept, enlarging windows, or adding skylights to increase your light exposure.
- Pay attention to your landscaping as well. Older homes often come with mature trees that cast larger shadows. Give yourself the opportunity to experience all four seasons before removing them, though, because that shade might come in handy in the warmer months.
Check with your real estate professional for recommendations on local contractors to help with addressing structural changes and extensive landscaping alterations.