Marsha Foden's Blog
A bathroom renovation represents a major decision, especially for those who plan to sell their homes in the near future.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider before you embark on a bathroom renovation, including:
1. When do I plan to list my home?
Consider your home selling timeline – you'll be glad you did. If you understand when you'd like to list your residence, you can plan home improvement projects accordingly.
If you intend to list your home in the next few months, there is plenty of time to overhaul your bathroom if necessary. Or, if you want to sell your home as soon as possible, a bathroom renovation may slow you down.
2. Is a bathroom renovation necessary?
Although your bathroom may seem small and messy at times, only minor bathroom upgrades may be needed to transform your ordinary bathroom into an exceptional one.
Performing an extensive bathroom cleaning will enable you to eliminate shower scum, wipe down a bathroom countertop and enhance the bathroom floor. Plus, cleaning a bathroom often represents a fast, easy and cost-effective alternative to a major bathroom overhaul.
Furthermore, a home appraisal may help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses. After this appraisal is finished, you can identify problem areas in your home and determine whether a bathroom renovation is a priority.
3. How much will a bathroom renovation cost?
The cost of a bathroom renovation may range from hundreds to thousands of dollars based on the size of your bathroom, the renovations that are needed and other factors. As such, you'll want to evaluate the cost of a bathroom renovation to determine how the project may impact your property's value.
Meet with several bathroom renovation experts. That way, you can receive multiple bathroom renovation estimates to see what it will cost to enhance your bathroom's appearance.
Also, you may want to consider do-it-yourself (DIY) bathroom improvements. A DIY bathroom renovation can be rewarding because it will enable you to learn new skills and revamp your bathroom's appearance on your own. At the same time, you'll want to ensure that any bathroom upgrades you complete are done safely and effectively.
Still unsure about whether you should perform a bathroom renovation? Discuss your concerns and questions with a real estate agent, and you may be able to gain unparalleled insights into whether a bathroom renovation is worth your time.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she can help you assess the pros and cons of a bathroom renovation. As a result, you can make informed decisions about a bathroom renovation and other home improvement projects.
In addition, a real estate agent can serve as an expert guide along the home selling journey. This housing market professional can help you get your home ready and ensure it will generate plenty of interest from property buyers as soon as it becomes available.
Take the guesswork out of a bathroom renovation – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can decide whether a bathroom renovation is right for you.
We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.
Cutting down on monthly services
They’re enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesn’t get any better.
One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.
But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the world’s best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.
Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If you’re paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?
Be smart about your savings
To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people don’t need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.
Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.
Don’t forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)
One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you aren’t able to withdraw from them until they have matured--i.e., until you’ve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.
Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.
Your kitchen is the ultimate workspace, but only if it has the lighting needed to properly illuminate your work area. Without the right lighting, you could end up fumbling through your tasks, failing to complete them to the best of your ability. Thankfully, resolving that problem is as easy as installing LEDs under the cabinets. Here’s what you need to know about this awesome lighting solution for your kitchen.
Types of Under-Cabinet LEDs
When choosing under cabinet lighting for your kitchen, the following types tend to work best.
Resembling hockey pucks in size and shape, LED pucks allow you to shine light wherever you need it. As a standalone lighting option, these typically use batteries for power, giving you virtually unlimited placement options. But remember, if you choose this design, make sure you have plenty of batteries on hand to avoid losing light when you need it most.
Available in a variety of sizes and shapes, LED bars are the most popular under cabinet option. These lights securely fasten to the bottom of whatever cabinet you like and plug right into a nearby outlet for power. Since these use a plug, you are somewhat limited in placement options, depending on your kitchen design.
For a little more flexibility, you may want to consider LED strip lights, which come in a variety of lengths and sizes. These strips are typically plug in, though some run on batteries instead. Their extra length can make it easier to place them in hard to reach areas that are far from an outlet.
Once you decide which LED light design you favor most, you can pick up as many as you need to create the task lighting of your dreams.
Key LED Light Features for Under Cabinets
Under cabinet LED lights have a large price range, which is largely built around the standard features included with each unit. At the high end of the price range you might find lights with dimmable bulbs, motion sensors, and even color-changing features. At the low end, you just get basic lights that can be turned off and on with the press of a button.
To find your ideal options, take a look at your expectations, budget, and kitchen activities. If you frequently need extra light while cutting up meat, for example, you may want motion sensors to have light on demand without having to flick a switch.
Installation Tips for Under Cabinet Lighting
Whether you choose strips, bars, or pucks, there are a few things to remember when installing these lights:
When you take the time to select and install your LED under cabinet lights, you can transform your kitchen into a truly effective workspace. So, get started in planning this smart upgrade to treat yourself to a well-illuminate space to complete all your kitchen tasks.
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When it comes to making your home and property safer for your family and others, the Boy Scouts motto says it all: "Be prepared!"
While it's next to impossible to completely eliminate all risks and potential hazards in and around your home, there are dozens of things you can do to make your property safer.
Every family's safety needs are unique, but here are a few basic precautions that can help reduce the chances of home accidents occurring -- both large and small.
Stair safety: All things being equal, it's riskier to walk down a flight of stairs than it is to walk on level ground. While that may seem obvious, most people don't stop and think about the potential risks of descending stairs as they're about to do it. Although tripping and falling on stairs can be injurious to just about anyone, it's especially dangerous for elderly people. From a homeowner's standpoint, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of family or friends stumbling on your stairs. On an ongoing basis, it's necessary to make sure there are no loose objects on the stairs that could cause someone to lose their footing. Keeping stairs clear of toys, building blocks, and slipping hazards can be challenging if you have young children. Until they're taught to pick up after themselves -- which might occur sometime between now and college -- stair safety is an important issue to be aware of. Another key strategy for preventing household accidents is to make sure railings are properly installed and firmly anchored. Basement stairs can pose additional risks because they're sometimes inadequately lighted. Concrete floors at the bottom of some staircases can make a fall even more hazardous (not to mention painful). Increasing lighting, if needed, and making the bottom step more visible so that it's not accidentally skipped, are two preventative measures for reducing the chances of anyone falling on basement stairs.
Fire safety: Most people are aware that it's essential to have several working smoke detectors placed in strategic locations in your kitchen, bedroom area, and other parts of your house. Even though it's common knowledge, people don't always remember to install enough of them, replace worn out batteries when necessary, or test them every few months to make sure they're in good working condition. Some people remove the battery to silence smoke alarms while they're cooking, which can be dangerous if they don't remember to put them back afterwards. If your kitchen smoke detector has a "push to hush" button, then that can be a safer way to temporarily quiet a smoke detector when you're cooking dinner. Home fire safety also entails several other precautions, including having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (and other areas), having a second-floor fire-escape ladder available, and teaching children how to avoid and respond to potential fire dangers. More detailed information and educational materials on fire safety is available from government agencies and non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.
Stay tuned to this blog for more helpful tips, pointers, and ideas for keeping your home safer and more secure.