Even if you’ve only lived at your address for several months, it’s likely that you’ve developed an emotional connection to your home. Despite a few hiccups like a pipe leaking, sink clogging or a kitchen cabinet drawer sticking, you might not be ready to sell your house and move into a new home. Renovating your house might prove a better choice.Consider the following factors before you make a final decision on whether to sell or renovate.Neighborhood – Is the neighborhood where you live starting to decline? Is crime increasing, causing property values to drop? It may be time to start house hunting and move into a better neighborhood. Renovating won’t change your entire neighborhood, so this decision is fairly straightforward.Family Needs – If your family is growing, you may need to move in order to give your children sleeping and entertaining room, especially if your children are getting older and want their own private space. You could also renovate and add one to two bedrooms onto your existing home.Age of House – An aging house often means that wiring, pipes and flooring are experiencing wear and tear. If your home has ever flooded or endured hard weather conditions, renovating may call for a roof replacement, new sidewalks, new floor tiles and painting. As part of your renovations, you may also need to replace utility equipment like your water heater or furnace.Job Situation – Think about why you’re considering moving. The chance to work a job that you’re passionate about or the chance to continue working with your current employer who may be relocating to a different town may make it easy to decide to move. If jobs are drying up where you live, you could open up to new job opportunities if you move. However, the chance to get promoted or take on a higher paying role may only come if you stay where you are. Should this be the case, renovating may be the way to go.Disposable Income – Renovating a house can get pricey, especially if your home requires a lot of structural work. Ask a home inspector to tell you how much and what types of work would improve your house. Count up the cost to have these repairs completed. Factor in any cosmetic work that you’d like done on your home. Be honest in determining whether you have enough disposable income to renovate. Compare the cost to renovate your home against the cost of taking on a new mortgage.Remember when relatives and friends visited after you bought your home, helping you to celebrate this new independent step? It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you felt proud of your decision, a home choice that you made after weeks, perhaps months, of house hunting. Add in years of memories, children growing up in the house and huge family celebrations and moving might be the last thing that you want to do.On the other hand, moving could prove to be the best choice. Before you make a decision, consider the above factors. Doing so could help you to avoid entering the realm of regret.
One of the toughest tasks around the house is keeping it clean. So when you are busy with work, the kids, and short on time, this task is almost impossible.Here are some tips on how to have your home appear to be clean all the times:-While you are walking around the house think about how you can declutter. As you pass through rooms pick up toys, mail, bags and shoes. Before you leave the living room on your way to the kitchen, look to see what items can be picked up along the way.-Utilize decorative baskets to organize books, catalogs, mail and magazines.-Reduce odor in the kitchen by simmering nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon with orange peels in a saucepan on the stove.-Use candlelight, a home always looks better and cleaner by candlelight.-Create an instant centerpiece with a bowl full of fruit.-Use baskets or containers in the bathroom to store cosmetics and lotions.-Refresh the guest hand towels frequently. Humidity in the bathroom makes towels look droopy.-Place your pajamas under the pillow. This way, they’re off the floor and ready for bedtime.-Pile clean, unfolded laundry in baskets on top of the washing machine to be sorted later.-If you have dirty clothes, but no time to wash them, store them inside the machine.
Is your bedroom in need of a slight makeover? Surprisingly enough, many people don’t spend too much time thinking about how their bedroom looks. How many times have you been on a tour of a friend’s new home, and the tour stops short of their sleeping area? If you don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling like your bedroom isn’t a “show off” room, then take a few steps to jazz it up a bit.By paying a little attention to a few areas in your bedroom, you can leave that door open with no shame.New Bedding – Depending on your sleeping preferences, your bed may well be the biggest piece of furniture in your home. Coincidentally, your bedding may also be one of the largest decorations in your home. Do you like your bedding? Does it match your home and personality well? If it leaves you wanting, then consider outfitting your bed with a new bedding set. With this one improvement, the entire mood of your bedroom can change. If you can manage to find curtains or drapes that complement your bedding, it will tie your bedroom together in a big way.Floors – Bedrooms may have the least amount of floorspace visible, but that doesn’t mean that they should be neglected. Consider buying a decorative rug for your room. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, consider installing a new carpet or flooring. The sky is the limit here, and any change made is likely to be an improvement.Laundry – Piles of unfolded or dirty laundry can be an eyesore. Even a visible laundry hamper is enough to be a distraction. Consider outfitting your closet door with a hanging laundry basket, or instituting a “no dirty laundry in the bedroom” rule for yourself.Lighting – If you rely solely on overhead lighting in your bedroom, then consider buying a lamp or two. Lamps will serve to highlight your furniture, as well as create a more relaxing environment.
Did you every hear the old expression, “Trust in God, but lock your door”? Not only has that adage been passed on from one generation to the next, but it’s a lyric in an old Kenny Rogers song, and you’ll occasionally see it on bumper stickers. Although keeping your home safe from intruders is a serious topic, that old saying reminds us, in a humorous way, that we shouldn’t take home security for granted.In addition to high tech approaches to home protection, there are also easy and inexpensive steps you can take to discourage burglars. Although many of these safety measures seem like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many homeowners forget to lock doors, leave lights on, and take other simple precautions when they’re away. Here’s a handful of smart steps you can take to substantially reduce the risk of having your home broken into.
- Make a habit of locking your doors and windows. While this piece of advice may sound like a “no-brainer,” many reports of home break-ins mention an unlocked window or door as the point of entry for burglars. The first thing you can do to tighten up security and feel safer in your own home is to increase your awareness of potential threats, and emphasize to your family the importance of taking precautions. The ideal scenario involves reinforcing positive habits, without instilling a sense of fear. After all, your home should be a peaceful place where your family always feels safe and comfortable.
- Shine a light on the problem. You would think that everyone would leave lights on when they’re not home at night, but — for one reason or another — many don’t. Keeping your home well lit, both inside and out, is a good strategy for thwarting crime. To save money on energy bills and to avoid the appearance of always having your lights on, you can purchase inexpensive lighting timers. Leaving a radio or TV on when you’re not home, or connecting it to a timer, is another way to create the illusion that someone is home.
- Barking dogs are a known burglar deterrent, as are “Beware of Dog” signs. The actual dogs are obviously more effective than the warning signs, but many people bring their pets to a boarding facility when they’re away on vacation. One solution is to arrange for a house sitter or an on-site pet care service to stop by. If you have a trusted neighbor or family member who can feed and walk your dog while you’re away (maybe, water your plants, too!), then your canine security guard can remain on duty in your absence. Many communities also have licensed and bonded pet care services that can stop by and take care of your dogs, every day, eliminating the need for your pets to be away from home.
- Landscaping features can be a risk factor. Be aware that high bushes and hedges can make it easier for burglars to hide while breaking into windows. Keep shrubs and branches trimmed back as much as possible to eliminate this chink in your security plan. If you’re still concerned about the effect of bushes on home security, then make sure your window locks are sturdy and fully functional. Inexpensive battery-operated window and door alarms are also an option.
One method that can virtually eliminate the problem of forgetting to lock your doors and turning on lights is to have a high-tech security system installed. This technology enables you to activate locks, lights, and even thermostats from any location with your cell phone, laptop, or other mobile device. While these automated systems and monitored alarms incur a monthly service fee, the peace of mind and added control you get over your home environment is often more than worth the expense.
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