Karen Lawley's Blog
Like any aspect of home maintenance, keeping your house safe for family and visitors requires awareness, planning, and attention. If you don't prioritize home safety and security, then there's a greater chance "Murphy's Law" will come into play when you least expect it.
Realistically speaking, the concept that "If something can go wrong, it will (and at the worst possible time)" certainly does not have any basis in fact. Everything that happens is the result of "cause and effect."
Fortunately, we can exert control over cause and effect and use it to our benefit. Here are several safety tips to keep in mind and implement to increase the probability that your home will be a safe place to live, visit, and perhaps grow old in.
- Fire safety is of paramount importance. It runs the gamut from making sure you have working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers to having second floor escape ladders and designated meeting places and exit plans.
- Proper lighting, both inside and out, can not only discourage burglars, but it also reduces the risk of mishaps, such as tripping, falling, or twisting an ankle.
- Shower and bathtub safety is important for everyone, but it's especially crucial for senior citizens and households that have elderly visitors, such as grandparents. A combination of safety railings and non-slip safety decals, stickers, or appliques on the tub floor would be your first line of defense against slips and falls in the bathroom.
- Stair safety is also well worth focusing on. It can be improved in your home in a number of ways, including the installation and reinforcement of hand rails. Making sure stairs are properly illuminated, especially at the bottom, can also help prevent falls and stumbles. Another preventative measure is to put a strip of brightly colored tape across the bottom step in your basement so that people realize there's one more step to go before they reach the floor. Any momentary confusion about that can result in falls and injuries.
- Protective equipment, such as goggles, work gloves, dust masks, and other safety gear may be necessary for certain types of cleaning, home repair work, tree pruning, or construction activities around the house and yard. Ladder safety and awareness is another important topic when it comes to reducing falls and injuries around the house.
- Ensuring child safety is a challenging priority, and can include everything from preventing access to dangerous household chemicals and medications to locking up gun cabinets and placing barriers around swimming pools, windows, and hot stoves. Hardware stores and other retail businesses often carry baby gates, child-resistant cabinet locks, toilet bowl safety clips, electrical outlet covers, and even rubber cushioning for the edges of coffee tables and fireplace hearths.
While this list of safety tips is not all-inclusive, it will hopefully encourage you to become more vigilant and attuned to all the different potential hazards in and around your home and property. If you're concerned about a specific area of home safety, there are free checklists, pamphlets, and articles available through government agencies, educational institutes, non-profit organizations, and the Internet.
A home seller may face a variety of dilemmas as he or she tries to get the best price for a residence. However, a seller who prepares for potential problems may be better equipped than others to enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for potential home selling dilemmas.
1. Upgrade Your Residence
You may believe your residence will sell quickly, but the housing market offers no guarantees. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to upgrade your residence, you could differentiate your home from comparable houses in your city or town.
Removing clutter will make it easy for you to show off the true size of your home's interior to prospective buyers. Furthermore, you should clean each room of your home. If necessary, you may want to hire a professional home cleaning company too.
Don't forget to trim the hedges, mow the front lawn, repair cracked or damaged siding and perform other home exterior upgrades, either. If your home boasts amazing curb appeal, potential buyers may fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it.
2. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home
If your home's initial asking price is too high, you risk alienating potential buyers. But if you analyze the real estate market closely, you can use housing sector data to establish a competitive initial home asking price.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town, as well as the prices of available residences that are comparable to your own. This information provides a glimpse into the current state of the housing market and can help you determine how to price your residence.
It may be beneficial to conduct a home appraisal as well. In fact, a home appraisal report includes a property valuation that you can use to set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing sector, at any time. As such, he or she can offer expert guidance to help you identify and overcome home selling dilemmas.
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, find out why you want to sell your house and craft a personalized home selling strategy for you. He or she next will list your residence and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine how to proceed with this proposal.
A real estate agent also is ready to provide immediate responses to your home selling concerns and questions. That way, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the home selling journey.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble addressing potential home selling dilemmas and enjoying a seamless property selling experience.
Where you decide to live is perhaps one of the most important decisions that you’ll make. The location of your home will determine the property value and how much you can potentially get out of your investment. The location of your home also will determine how you live your everyday life. What’s nearby and how you get around are big factors based on where you choose to live. Here’s what you must consider when choosing where you want to live:
The Part Of The Country You Live In
Where you choose to live is based on a lot of factors in your life. Yet, the part of the country that you choose to live in has such a big impact on your lifestyle. If you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, this is an important decision. Although many people have their location chosen for them based on job and family needs, other people work this question out a bit differently.
City Life Or The ‘Burbs?
If you like peace and quiet, this is an important question. If you live far outside the city, you’ll be able to have a lot more land than if you buy a home within the city limits. Education options are also greater in the city compared to a town or rural area. If you are looking for wider access to entertainment, shopping and medical services, you may need to strongly consider living closer to the city. If you like a bit more quiet, choose the outer limits as a place to live.
Each neighborhood in a particular area has different characteristics. You’ll want to find a neighborhood that fits your personality and needs. You should feel comfortable and at “home” in your neighborhood. Also, you’ll want to be in close proximity to your workplace so that you avoid a long commute.
What Are The Schools Like?
This is one of the most important questions for people who have a family or are planning to start a family. You’ll need to do some research as to what school systems are like in specific areas that you’re thinking of living in. Keep in mind that you may end up paying a premium to live in a neighborhood that has a good school system.
Depending upon the neighborhood that you choose, people will either keep to themselves or provide a certain kind of social pressure. In certain neighborhoods there’s more social activity and more pressure to send your kids to certain schools and enroll them in certain activities.
Now that you know how to find the right place to search for a home, you’ll need to figure out what kind of home you’d like to live in. Start making your wish list!
Home improvements are a great way to add value to your home if you’re hoping to sell in the near future. The problem is, however, that many home improvements are costly and time-consuming. And, if you don’t plan carefully, they could even cost more than the amount of value you add to the home.
The good news is that there are several home improvement projects that will cost you less than $100 and won’t uproot your life in the meantime.
In this article, we’re going to give you five home improvements, all under $100, that can add value to your home. That way when you do decide to sell, you won’t have to scramble to make updates. Read on for the list.
1. Add a fresh coat of paint to your trim and baseboards (Cost: $75 - $100)
Trim and baseboards fall prey to getting kicked and covered in dust and cobwebs over the years. Adding a fresh coat of white paint will make an entire room feel new.
2. Improve your lighting (Cost: ~$50)
Bright lights help to make the rooms of your home feel more spacious. If you can’t increase the natural light of a room, bright, LEDs are the next best alternative.
The cost of LEDs is constantly decreasing, and they’re becoming more energy-efficient as well. To really get the most value out of your budget, use different color temperatures depending on the mood of the room (warm for bedrooms, bright white for bathrooms, etc.).
3. Add a burst of color to your front door (Cost: ~$20)
It can be difficult to increase curb appeal on a tight budget. One way to do so is to repaint your door a bright color that stands out but still fits with the style of your home.
4.Install a new shower head (Cost: $80 - $100)
Adding a new shower head to the main bathroom is a great way to add a bit of luxury to the room. While many stainless steel shower heads cost around $200, there are several chrome options that look just as nice and cost half the price.
5.Upgrade your hardware (Cost: $50 - $80)
Replacing your kitchen cabinets is an expensive endeavor. However, you can easily revamp your existing cabinets by replacing their hardware. Add a fresh coat of paint and they’ll look brand new.
Outside the kitchen, you can also update towel racks, bathroom drawer knobs, coat hooks, and other outdated hardware. Using a consisted, dark color throughout the home is a good way to give your house a theme and a sense of continuity.
With these five simple upgrades, you can increase the value of your home, boost your curb appeal, and avoid breaking the bank at the same time.
Although clutter in your home may seem like an insignificant problem, it can actually have a negative impact on everything from your personal productivity to family relationships.
When dirty dishes pile up, clothes gather on the floor, and toys are scattered everywhere, it often creates a feeling of discouragement that can seep into every aspect of your life.
While most people view clutter as an annoyance or an eyesore, studies have shown that it can contribute to stress, feelings of guilt, and even depression. Books have been written on the topic and well-known websites have devoted countless pages to the connection between stress and clutter.
In addition to feeling embarrassed when guests drop over unexpectedly, household clutter makes it difficult to find important things, like car keys, homework assignments, or cell phones. A disorganized, messy home can also lead to bills being paid late, which can bring with it a whole separate set of problems, such as late payment fees, collection letters, and credit rating issues. For people planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, a damaged credit score could adversely affect interest rates, loan terms, or even their chances of obtaining a mortgage.
Fortunately, there are ways to turn the tide on your battle with household clutter. The first step, of course, is to recognize that you have a problem. The second step is to begin writing a plan or set of goals for taking charge of the clutter. The third step is to begin taking action and to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for organizing your home and putting clutter in its place!
If you're considering putting your home on the market in the near future, you may need to bump up that time allotment! Cluttered closets, storage areas, and countertops are sure to send the wrong message to prospective home buyers. Living areas that contain too much furniture, stacks of magazines, or piles of unsorted mail will convey an unwanted image of chaos, messiness, and disarray. Clutter can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller and less appealing.
In addition to establishing new and better habits for keeping your home organized and looking its best, it's also important to enlist the cooperation of your family. When everyone does their part to keep your home looking presentable and well maintained, fewer things will get misplaced, moods will be lifted, and you'll no longer feel embarrassed when company drops by!
The best time to begin attacking the problem is now. If the project seems overwhelming, the solution is to start small, but stick with it on a daily basis. As the famous quote says, "The race does not always go to the swift, but to those who keep on running."