Category Archives: Real Estate

Home Safety: How to Keep Intruders Out

Home intruderBeing safe from intruders takes a lifetime of vigilance. You may not be able to stop the most sophisticated criminals from entering your property, but that does not mean you should not try. Most burglaries and other home intrusions are the handiwork of the more common breed of opportunistic crooks.

It is easier to stop the type from causing you any problems. Here are some suggestions on how to do it.

Lock your doors and windows

Many home intrusions are preventable. All it takes is to make sure you lock your doors and windows. Most opportunistic burglars come in through the front or back door, grab what they can, and leave undetected. Simply locking those doors can make them change their mind.

Install CCTV cameras

Cameras themselves are deterrents against the most common intruders, so install them where they are hard to reach but easy to spot. If anything happens, the recorded footage may help authorities find the suspect or suspects.

Use a garage remote

You can have your garage doors in Chicago fitted with a remote controller so you do not have to get out of your vehicle to open or close the garage. Many cases of carjacking happen when the owner gets out attending to the garage door.

Especially if you are coming home at night, or when it is raining, or both, you may not be able to spot someone hiding in the bushes, waiting for the chance to take your car from you or worse.

Install lighting around your property

Lights are not a crook’s best friend. Common thieves are likely to avoid making your house a “mark” if there are no dark corners to hide in. Remove trees that block your view, or at least trim them and install lights near them.

Install motion sensors

Motion sensors are more sophisticated now; they are less likely to be activated by your dog. Install them outdoors as well as indoors. Having motion detectors on your lawn can alert you even before the intruder gets inside your house.

Lastly, when it comes to safety, always use your noggin. You can prevent many crimes with a little common sense.

4 Reasons Why Metal Fencing is Best for Your Home

Metal fenceProtection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorate your home.

Safe and Protected Home

The first benefit of having a metal fence is security. Fencing can help deter criminals and trespassers, through its tall and narrow point. Moreover, fences can be tied with electronic gates and installed with security systems like alarms or codes. Fences could prevent offenders from coming in while keeping your pets and valuables from coming out.

Beautiful Design

Many types of metal fence panels are available to complement the exterior of your house. Fences can make your house look modern, sleek, and elegant depending on the type you choose. Moreover, well-crafted fences can also increase the value of the property if you wish to sell it in the future.

Durability

Metal fences are durable and will last under harsh weather conditions. Compared to wooden fences, metal fences are free from pest infestation and stains. It also needs low maintenance costs due to its lasting gleam and timeless look.

Recyclability

Lastly, metal fences are highly recyclable. Steel and aluminum are commonly used, so metal fences are reusable in case you wish to dispose of or replace them. This way, you can help save the environment.

Protection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorating your home.

Granny Flats: Your Affordable New Home

Granny Flat It has been increasingly difficult to find ways to cope with the burden of expensive housing in Australia these days. That’s why people have been coming up with the most convenient ways to maximize the potential of existing real estate, without having to shell out more than necessary from their savings.

Granny flats and cabin kits

Cabin kits and granny flats have become the answer for many of Australia’s housing issues. One wouldn’t have to look beyond their own backyard when they want to invest in additional housing for added comfort or supplementary income.

Not just for grandma

Many people think that granny flats are meant only for that. However, with their customization and the availability of choices for design, they can serve their intended purpose whether as a retreat, studio, or home office.

The options

This may be the perfect alternative for young adults who want to move out but are limited financially. If you want to use these cabins as a way to enhance your income, you could rent them out to students and retirees who want to have a cheaper yet attractive accommodation.

Building one for your home

It is important to make sure that you choose reputable builders who could help build these cabins in a relatively short span of time but with the skill and expertise you expect. Contact the right builders with plans for cabin kits that would fit your needs. Always consult them on the size and materials that would best fit your plans for your extension.

Make that extension cabin as comfortable as your home. Whatever your plans for your cabin, always make sure that you’re hiring the right people who could help you build the most delightful cabin for your needs.

Where to Build Your House: Lot Buying Tips

Houses Along A BoulevardResidential lots are widely varied. There are different sets of specifications that may appeal to one but not to the others. If you are in the market for a piece of land where you can build your first home, you must take note of the following guidelines. They are very helpful making an informed decision afterward.

Your Lifestyle and the Community

One of the biggest considerations you must take note of is the kind of community in the subdivision where the residential lot is located. The surroundings must suit your very own lifestyle so you will not feel like you are less of a perfect fit. Do you want it to be near schools or at the heart of a commercial area? Do you want a serene neighborhood? Is living in a crowded street good enough for you?

The Property’s Condition

Another thing that you must look into is how the land development project is managed. The developer has so much to do at how well the property is maintained, if it’s a wetland or if several environmental concerns are properly addressed.

Infrastructure and Amenities

Infrastructure projects in the community must have been carefully completed before the neighborhood starts building. Road systems, water systems, sewer systems, and the likes must be in place and are efficient to facilitate comfortable living.

Site Limitations

You must also review the site limitations to know if it matches the kind of home that you want to build. Environmental conditions in the area, as well as the existing restrictive guidelines, will have an impact on the amount of liberty you can enjoy designing the kind of home that you want for your family.

Deciding whether a given residential lot is perfect for the dream home you want to give to your family or not takes serious considerations. Make sure that you work with a real estate professional who could lead you in the right direction.

4 Things You Need to Know About a VA Home Loan

Getting a Mortgage for a houseAs of 2014, data shows that the U.S. armed forces had around 21.8 million veterans. Despite the numbers, many U.S. veterans are still renting properties, instead of owning them. This is where VA Home Loans come in. This type of home loan give veterans and even active military members the chances to become homeowners. Here are some things you need to know about this kind of mortgage.

What does VA Home Loans mean?

The “VA” in VA Home Loan stands for Veterans Affairs. This type of loan, which is available to active and veteran military members, are sometimes called Veterans Affairs mortgages.

What are the advantages of VA Home Loans?

VA Home Loans can be used not only to buy a property but also to make major repairs and upgrades. What’s good about this home loan is that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees it. It also doesn’t require applicants to pay a down payment. Applicants also don’t need to reach a required minimum credit score to avail it. And because it doesn’t require a down payment, it’s easier to get it compared to standard home loans. While VA Home Loan costs are usually lower, qualified applicants still need to pay a single upfront fee for the funding. VA Home Loans also don’t carry prepayment penalties or fees for early exits.

Who are eligible for VA Home Loans?

Any active or veteran military member can apply for a VA Home Loan. Reservists and members of the National Guard are also eligible. Surviving spouses of military personnel can also apply for a VA Home Loan if the former member died on active duty or through service-related disability.

For active members who wish to apply for a VA Home Loan, they need to be at least in service for six months. National Guard members need to wait six years before they can avail of this home loan type, the same goes for reservists. However, in cases when they are called into active service during the 6-year waiting time, they can qualify immediately after 181 days in service.

Where can I apply for VA Home Loans?

While VA Home Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this federal agency is not the direct lender. A VA Loan in Ogden, for instance, is made available through private lending companies.

Get a VA Home Loan Today!

VA Home Loans are great options qualified applicants should take advantage of. However, this type of home loan is mainly designed to buy or renovate properties that are ready for moving in, such as condominiums, single homes, multi-unit properties and modular houses. They are not designed for purchasing farms or any commercial properties.

Fences Secure and Beautify Your Home in More Ways Than You Know

Metal Fence
Fences play an important role in your home. It allows you to enjoy the security that it provides and adds to the overall beauty of your abode. It’s certainly a worthy addition to any home.

When you cast your glance at a home that sits at the corner, there are basically two things that will capture your attention. If the house is huge with a front lawn, then your eyes will zero in on the roofing and the entire façade of a home. If it does not, then your eyes may be captivated by the fences that seem to beckon you to have a look. Home Style Central even mentioned that before guests could see what’s inside your home, the first thing they will notice is the fence on your front yard. Indeed, the fence of your home can do wonders in ensuring that your abode looks beautiful and at the same time, secured.

Beauty That Stands Out

Think of your home’s fence as a translucent curtain, which allows people to have a better view of what’s inside the home. At the same time, such curtain acts as a barrier between you and the home’s interiors. A fence acts almost the same way. It allows you to have a glimpse of the home but shields it from any intrusion. With this in mind, the fence definitely adds beauty to the home, in the same way that curtains do to the home interiors.

Material That Lasts

Fences come in many shapes, types, and sizes. One versatile type that could make any home stand out is a metal fence. Just make sure that when you choose metal fencing panels, there is a lifetime warranty on workmanship. Another thing is to make sure that there is a guarantee that the paint will not blister or fade. Once you find these characteristics, then you have indeed found the fence that will be perfectly great for your home.

Lifetime Investment

Since a fence is an addition that has somehow a permanent nature, you can consider it as a lifetime investment. This means that it would be serving you and your family for a long time. It will continuously provide your family with the security it needs, which according to Houzz, these fences deter burglars. Apart from that, a fence would also be adding value to your home. In the event that you decide to move someplace else, you can sell your home and add the value of the fence.

A fence would always help in providing you and your family an added sense of security. In addition, it never fails to add to the aesthetic beauty of your home. With a good metal fence surrounding your property, you would be able to enjoy being secured within the premises of your home and enjoy the beauty it brings.

Do You Need a Property Manager?

Property Manager in Portland

Property Manager in PortlandWhen you think of a property owner with a rental property, what do you think of? It is easy to imagine property owners as rental people who only live off of rent and lead comfortable lives. Nothing can be further from the truth than the previous misconception. Owning rental property requires you to manage said property.

Management Responsibilities

Managing a rental property requires work. No matter if you own a rental home or a rental apartment complex here in Portland, Oregon, you will have to deal with stubborn tenants, late night/early morning calls, and vacancies.

Need a Property Manager?

You may be up to the job of managing property if you plan on doing it full-time. Those who have other jobs, however, may be in need of property management services from providers like Real Property Management. How do you know that you should hire or that you need a property manager?

Distance Factor

You can use a property manager when you live a distance away from your property. Travel costs and time spending can add up if you live a few miles, or even a state, away from your property. Even when you are near it, however, you can still use a property manager since the manager can manage the property without you even having to worry about the property anymore.

Number Factor

How many rental units or properties do you own? The more apartment units or rental properties you have, the more responsibilities you need to fulfill. A property manager can take off your shoulders tasks like looking for tenants, collecting rent, dealing with complaints, and scheduling maintenance.

Investment Factor

Real estate is a great market to invest in. With a property manager, you can invest even more in the market. You will still have a life free of property management, but you will have several properties in your portfolio. One manager or firm can manage all of your properties.

These are only some of the ways you can find out if you want or need a property manager. You do more research and make sure you really need the help.

Secrets to Picking the Mortgage Lender When Buying a Home

Buying a Home

Buying a HomeMany people often make mistakes when taking a mortgage to buy their homes, and it leads to hefty costs.

Owning a home is a long-term engagement that spans up to 30 years. You need to get all the critical factors right from the get-go. The mortgage is the most convenient way for many people to own their homes. However, convenience does not mean easy, as the process is often lengthy and quite time-consuming. As such, you need to pick your mortgage lender in Salt Lake City with utmost caution.

Do You Need a Mortgage Broker?

If you’re short on time, you can use an agent and have them link you with a credible mortgage company. Such an arrangement saves you the hassle of checking the various service providers and the services they offer. Your intermediary is likely to recommend reliable companies that can suit and address your particular needs.

Do You Need Personalized Service?

You have a choice of large and small mortgage lenders, each delivering a different experience to their clients. Smaller lenders are likely to offer personalized services and probably faster response. Large institutions, on the other hand, have many applications, so they may not offer custom packages.

If you have special circumstances underlying your request, go for a small firm. An underwriter can provide personal assistance to help you overcome any challenges. They may also offer you invaluable advice to qualify for a better mortgage.

How Good Is Your Credit Score?

Since your credit score is a culmination of many unique factors, it remains a delicate affair. Smaller lenders are likely to accommodate your application after rejection by the large mortgage firms. They do not operate with strict guidelines and can accommodate your needs even with an irregular income or low credit score.

The key to successful home ownership is getting things right from the start. Exercise great care when picking your mortgage lender.

Down Payment for a Home: 4 Ways to Save More

New Home in Fort MyersPaying a sizeable down payment is one of the biggest hurdles in buying a home. While you can purchase a home with little to no down payment, it is always better to have at least 20% of the market price to get a low-interest rate and avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you can’t afford to pay that much, you need to sacrifice for savings to increase your funds.

Mortgage lenders in Fort Myers share a few recommendations on saving for a down payment:

Maintain Financial Discipline

Start the saving process by modifying or adjusting the way you spend money on a daily basis. If you, for instance, go out to dinner twice or thrice a week, go only once. You might also want to brew your own coffee instead of buying a fancy cup every day. Find the best approach that works best for your lifestyle so you can successfully save for a house payment, recommends an expert from Gethomefinancing.com.

Set Up Another Bank Account

With a separate bank account for down payment, it is easier to save and resist the temptation to purchase anything else. This also allows you to have goals while tracking your progress. You can also set up an automatic deposit to reduce some of the burden required in making a decision to save money. This is one of the easiest ways to grow your down payment.

Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Paying off credit card debts, especially those with high interest, can help you save more indirectly. This is because paying high interest every month will make it more difficult for you to set aside money. Through this, you can contribute the money you have been using to pay all or part of your debt to your down payment savings. This will help accelerate the saving process and improve your credit score.

Take a Second Job

If you have extra time, consider taking a part-time or a second job. Several hours a week will help you earn more and boost your savings. Find an extra job that is in line with your career or interest. It is a lot easier to stay in a job if you know and like what you’re doing. You can write online articles, do some research work or tutor online.

Be serious about savings with these suggestions. You can also talk to a reliable lender to learn more about your home loan options and the best mortgage type or program for your situation.

5 Steps to Make It Through During the Cold, Chilly Season

Winter is ComingCool is good, but when the cold starts biting through your skin it's about time you take the matter seriously. Don't let the cold seep through your home and make you uncomfortable.

Keep your health, home, and sanity intact during the cold days by following these winter preparation hacks: 

Condition Your Home's Temperature

When it gets cold, your first reaction would be to crank up the heat immediately. While your body might thank you for the instant comfort, this is not the proper way to do it. A sudden change in thermostat will hurt your wallet and will affect the way your body adjust to the temperature. Instead of doing it abruptly, try controlling it bit by bit. This can help your body adapt gradually to the changing the weather condition.

Get Pests Out of Your Home

Just like you, those creepy crawlies search for a warm retreat when the temperature starts to dive. More likely, they'll take your home as a shelter because a warm house is always the perfect haven. This step is also necessary because pests are known to spread diseases and infection, so if you don't want to suffer from it better eliminate them as soon as possible.

Inspect the Heater or Furnace

Check for possible issues in your system. Do this weeks or months before you even start using them. Be sure it is clean and good condition to achieve its manufacturer-ranking efficiency. If there are any problems which might require professional help, don't hesitate to call an expert in water heater and boiler repair services to deal with the issue immediately. This will minimize the chance of waiting in queues just to get the repair you need.

Test the Snow-Clearing Gear

Pull out all your snow equipment (shovel, blower, and thrower) to see if they can still last for another season. Check your snow-clearing supplies; if you’re running low on them be sure to restock them. Make sure you place them in a spot where you can easily get them whenever you need them. This is also the best time to test out your generators, if ever you have one.

Plan Your Menu

Start planning on your meal as early as now. If it is possible to make a few extra meals today, then do so. This is the best you can do to not starve yourself when the snow and chilly weather begins. Warming your meals may not entirely depend on your home’s heat, but it is still better to plan them out to stock up on your food supplies.

Stay warm and cozy with these tricks. Don’t wait until it is too late to get things ready for the winter. The cold and snow make your body function slower, so this is the only time you’ll not forget anything.