Rachel Lutts' Blog
Most adults go through a series of predictable life stages, which include the eventual desire to be a home owner. Some people take the plunge sooner than others, but that decision is typically set in motion by changing circumstances, such as financial readiness, additions to the family, or career advancement.
Owning your own home certainly has a different "feel" to it than being a renter. Not only do you tend to feel more established and successful, but home ownership gives you more control over your environment. When you no longer have to answer to a landlord, you don't have to concern yourself with unannounced visits, inspections, restrictions, rent increases, or even lease terminations.
Renting an apartment, condo, or duplex may make the most sense when you're getting your first taste of independence as a recent college graduate or a young newlywed couple. However, as maturity settles in, buying a house becomes the next logical step. In addition to the investment value of real estate, most people also gravitate toward the idea of more privacy, more control over their lives, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from owning your own home.
Parenthood brings changes. Once children come into your life, your whole perspective undergoes a seismic shift! New priorities come to the forefront, such as relocating to a better school district, living closer to relatives or a recommended child care facility, and having a spacious yard where your kids can play. Owning property with a private, grassy space for a sandbox, a swing set, or backyard birthday parties are also among the reasons home ownership appeals to young parents.
Gardening becomes an option. With few exceptions, the joy of backyard gardening is a pastime that's only available to home owners. Whether your interest lies in growing your own vegetables, herbs, or wildflowers, cultivating a garden can be a very satisfying aspect of home ownership. While there is definitely more work involved in landscaping, maintaining property, and keeping your lawn looking manicured, the pride of ownership that comes from beautifying your own yard makes it all worthwhile!
Building equity: While deluxe townhouse rentals and luxury apartments may offer some temporary appeal, there comes a time in life when you want your monthly payments to begin feathering your own nest, rather than helping your landlord retire comfortably! Although your rented living space may provide you with immediate comfort, ample storage, and a place to entertain friends, it's your landlord, not you, who's receiving the tax advantages and investment value of the property you're living in.
Even though apartment living or townhouse renting may have suited your purposes up until now, you can't help but wonder whether it's time for a change -- specifically, a change that can strengthen your financial security and provide you with a resource you can leverage and enjoy for years to come.
You may keep a spare house key hidden somewhere around your home just in case you lose or forget your main set of keys. How does your hiding place measure up? Is it too obvious that anyone including thieves can find it? You can still have a spare key easily accessible to you without sacrificing the security of your home.
Never sacrifice the safety of your home for convenience. If you fail to have an alarm system set as an added layer of security, you really could be in trouble if your spare key isn’t well hidden. Burglars now have free and easy access to your home.
The Most Obvious Places To Hide A Key
Under The Mat
Everyone (especially burglars) will look under the mat for a key to get into your home. If you see it in the movies, it’s probably too obvious of a hiding place.
The Flower Pot
This is a textbook area to hide a key in that can be easily accessed by intruders. Criminals know where to look, so you need to think ahead of them.
If the rock doesn’t blend in, it’s not a good hiding spot! Many pre-fabricated hiding systems can be a bit obvious, so beware.
On Your Person
Whether you put a spare key in a wallet or your purse, if that gets stolen, there goes your spare key. The perpetrator also has access to your home. It’s generally not a good practice to keep a spare key on your person.
Good Places For A Spare Key
With A Trusted Neighbor
If the neighbor hides your key on their property, if a thief does find the key, they will assume the key goes to the neighbor’s house. This is a safe, convenient way to keep a spare key as long as the key is kept somewhere outside the home. You don’t want to face a lockout only to find out that your neighbor isn’t home.
In Your Car
Surprisingly, most break-ins happen during the daytime when you’re not home. If you keep your spare key in your car, the key won’t be there while you aren’t home.
Near The Dog
If a key is hidden near the place where the dog will be, you’ll have little to worry about. Burglars really don’t like dogs, mostly because dogs don’t like them!
Forget About Keys
Technology affords us one great option in the present day- keyless entry. If you are constantly forgetting your keys you should invest in a keyless lock system. These typically have codes that can be programmed. Just don’t forget the code!
To save water and equally maintain your lawn, you need to ensure your sprinkler system is working correctly. During the winter months, keeping your garden might take a toll on you. Improving your sprinkler system requires that you regularly check for damaged or faulty sprinklers.
Improving your sprinkler system means you would produce a better and healthier lawn. Below are tips to guide you in enhancing your sprinkler system.
Replace Conventional Controller
To better improve your sprinkler system, replace conventional irrigation controllers with smart controllers that are user-friendly and has built-in water saver option and allows you to restart multiple time. The smart controller uses weather-based data received from local forecast to adjust its watering system each day. These intelligent devices would help you save water.
Raise Irrigation Heads
Irrigation heads that are bent and settling towards the soil cause too much water to get into the ground at that particular part. Raise the irrigation head as it will help prevent grasses and shrubs from interfering with how far the water sprinklers get. Be careful though will doing this to avoid damaging the lawn mower. Install A Built-In Pressure Regulator Replace pop-up spray heads with built-in pressure regulating devices to reduce the excess amount of water wasting in an area when the sprinkler is in operation. Doing this is estimated to save you 30% of water.
Change Water Wasting Heads
Replace sprinkler wasting heads with high-efficiency nozzles that are guaranteed to save about 30% on your water consumption. These efficiency nozzles reduce wind drifts and allow water to distribute over the lawn and landscape evenly.
Install Rain Moisture Sensor
A rain moisture sensor is a smart way of controlling your sprinklers from double wetting your lawn or landscape after a rainfall. The sensor will turn off the sprinkler system automatically when it rains saving you 15-20% of water.
Place Plants Into Groups
Grouping plants into various sections is a smart way to ensure each plant gets adequate water without the problem of too much watering or too little watering. Some plants require more water than others; turf needs more water when compared to shrubs.
Even Distribution Of Water
Ensure sprinkler heads are installed close to each other to avoid water from overlapping. Installing your sprinklers close to one another would also ensure all the planted areas get enough water.
Same Irrigation Head
To maintain your sprinklers, you want to ensure all your irrigation heads are all working at the same time. If there seem to an issue with the heads, you can detach and clean dust or debris from the head of the sprinklers.
Deciding to upgrade your sprinkler system is something you can do yourself, it won't take time, and it would save you money.
If you find your dream house, you likely want to submit an offer to purchase this residence as soon as possible. That way, you can avoid the danger of losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.
Although you may strive to quickly submit an offer to purchase your dream residence, it is important to allocate sufficient time to craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Ultimately, there are many reasons to be diligent as you prepare an offer to purchase, and these include:
1. You can avoid the risk of overpaying to acquire your dream house.
You want to buy your dream house, but at the same time, you don't want to pay too much for it. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about a home's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Analyze a house's condition closely as you put together a property buying proposal. It often is beneficial to consider any potential home improvement projects as well.
Also, take a look at the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town as your dream residence. With this housing market data in hand, you can establish a price range for homes that are similar to your dream residence. Then, you can submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the present state of the housing market.
2. You can submit an offer to purchase that falls in line with a seller's expectations.
It usually is beneficial to consider the seller's perspective as you put together an offer to purchase. By doing so, you can craft a homebuying proposal that falls in line with a seller's expectations.
If you think about the seller's perspective, you may be able to avoid submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase. Because if you understand how a seller may perceive your homebuying proposal, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase that likely will make a positive impression on him or her.
3. You can increase the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller.
With a competitive offer to purchase, a seller may respond with an instant "Yes." As a result, if you craft a competitive homebuying proposal, you may be able to move forward with a home purchase and quickly acquire your dream residence.
As you navigate the real estate market and prepare an offer to purchase your dream house, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a residence. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase too.
Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.