Tag Archives: home

A Strategy to Make Your Home Ownership Dream a Reality

Front shot of modern homeBuying a home has and will always be part of the American dream. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to realize it. There are many reasons, one of the most common is making a down payment.

Although it’s possible to secure a funding program that doesn’t require putting down payment to purchase a home, there are benefits to still doing so. In Ogden, you’ll find housing grants that offer first time homeowners down payment assistance.

Making your dreams of homeownership become a reality

In a typical setting, home buyers would need to put down at least 20% of the property value they wish to purchase. For instance, a house that sells for $100,000 would require the buyer to make a $20,000 down payment. While you can save up for it, it’s still a lot of money, which may discourage you to push through with your buying plans.

Down payment aid is available, with some offering as much as $5,000 assistance for those who qualify. If you meet the requirements, this would mean that you would only have to save up $15,000, and you can already purchase your dream home.

The reasons to strive to make a down payment

There are several good reasons you’d still want to make a down payment. First, doing so allows you to the additional (and expensive) cost of private mortgage insurance. Most lenders require PMI when borrowers can’t complete a down payment, and because this is long-term insurance, it can quickly add up and balloon your overall mortgage expenditures.

Besides, putting down money also makes it easier to pay off your mortgage, since the interest will apply on a smaller amount of borrowed money. The sooner you pay your debts, the sooner you can live a debt-free life as a homeowner.

Enjoy a Stress and Pain-Free Homeownership When Buying Your First House

Couple outside homeOwning the roof over your family’s head is a great source of pride for many American homeowners. In fact, the average American lists their home as their single most valuable asset, for good reason. A decent home can set you back a couple of hundred of thousands of dollars.

Given the kingly asking prices, you may have to take out a mortgage to finance this dream. With the average monthly payment mortgage running northwards of $1,000 the last thing you need is additional bills in your mail.

Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners make crucial mistakes that bury them in debt.

Don’t buy a home in a rush

At the back of your mind, you have a picture of what comprises a dream home. This can help you breeze through the decision-making process, but it can also be your undoing. It may cause you to overlook crucial steps if you chance upon your perfect home on the market.

In such a case, you may overlook vital issues such as inspection, leading to considerable headaches later. For instance, the foundation, walls, floors, and the roof might be in great shape, but the heating system might be on its deathbed.

Once you sign the paperwork on such a house, the onus of replacing the unit lies on you.

Do seek expert advice before you commit

Involving an HVAC company when buying a home might seem a little strange, but it’s one the best decisions you can make. Considering that installing a new central heating system can easily set you back upwards of $10,000, the idea is not as wild.

In addition to providing heating repair services here in Salt Lake City, HVAC firms are amenable to providing advisory services. Retaining the services of professional is crucial when buying some old house as most central heating units have a lifespan of about 20 years.

Involving an HVAC company when buying your first home is a silver bullet that can save you a considerable amount of money and pain.

How Important Is a Water Softener in Your Home?

Instalation of a water softener in boiler roomHard water is described as water that has excess metals and minerals such as iron and calcium. These minerals don’t mix well with soap, so you will notice that your clothes are not as soft after doing your laundry or your hair is dull and lifeless no matter how much you wash it.

This is why many residents in Utah are using a water softener in their homes. All Hours Plumbing and HVAC notes this equipment softens the water by diluting or removing these excess minerals in exchange for sodium. Here are some more of its benefits:

Cleaner kitchen and bathroom

Because soap and the minerals found in hard water don’t mix well together, your dishes, the sink, and the bathtub end up with stains like white spots. When tap water evaporates, minerals like magnesium and calcium are left behind which cause the staining and plaster-like deposits on your faucets and bathtub. Soft water, on the other hand, does not have these minerals, so you get stain-free dishes, sinks, faucets, and tubs.

No more limescale build-up

Limescale build-up is a common side effect of hard water. Water won’t flow smoothly because of the reduced pressure from all those minerals, which increase the rate of limescale build-up. Additionally, the excess minerals in hard water can damage your steel pipes and other appliances that use water.

Softer skin and shinier hair

The extra magnesium and calcium in hard water reduce the effectivity of soap and shampoo, causing dry and itchy skin, as well as dull and lifeless hair. Because soaps and shampoos don’t lather as much, you are forced to use more of these products. However, with a water softener, you can bring back the rich lathering of soaps and shampoos, so you don’t have to use as much. This actually reduces your usage by 75%.

Cleaner and softer clothes

The minerals in hard water can easily get trapped in the fibers of your clothes, making them hard and scratchy. Hard water also causes your whites to turn gray. There are various DIY home remedies for this, but the best solution is to install a water softener.

Ways to Create More Storage in Your Home

A door of a storage unitStorage space is a necessity for every home. However, not every home has the sufficient amount of storage space that is an important solution when organising the house.

Here are ways you can create that necessary space if you do not have enough yet.

Floor to Ceiling Cabinets

Utilise your wall space by installing floor to ceiling cabinets that run the length of the wall. You can do this by the entryway or to create an entry foyer that can even enhance the look of your home entrance. Under the stairs is also a good place to install closets for more storage.

Another area in the home where you can increase storage space is the kitchen. Floor to ceiling storage is a good place to have the entire kitchen ensemble stored, so it is easier to find anything because they are in one place.

Garden Sheds

Utilise your outdoor space by setting up a garden workshop shed. You can use this area for storage and as a workshop all in one. Store gardening tools and other outdoor equipment in here to keep it out of reach of children inside the house.

Anything that is not safe for storing inside the home you can keep here. You can also house tools and other DIY materials in the shed to make it easier to work on DIY projects.

Sheds are a great use of space. Some even spruce it up by adding some furniture to turn it into a reading nook or resting space outside the home.

 

Creating more space in any home is possible by utilising wall space, outdoor spaces and installing room closets. Storage space is one of the best ways to keep a house organised, safe and easier to clean and maintain as everything is in its proper place.

Three Questions to Ask Before Finalizing a Mortgage

Mortgage loan agreement application with house shaped keyringYou’re ready to purchase a house. You’ve got the down payment covered. You’re itching to sign on the dotted line. Before you do, however, check some details about the mortgage, to make sure it’s favorable to you for the entirety of the loan duration.

Ask these questions before signing the mortgage:

Is a Fixed-Rate or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage More Favorable?

The repayment amounts will mostly depend on whether you have a fixed-rate home mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage. When you have a fixed-rate mortgage, you won’t have to worry about the interest rate continually changing. You are locked into a certain rate, which is favorable if the adjustable rates get higher. Conversely, if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll benefit if the current rates are lower and you pay accordingly.

Are There Refinancing Fees?

Refinancing seems like a great idea if you find a rate that works for you. However, you will only be able to take advantage of the savings if your present mortgage has favorable terms. Some lenders allow for refinancing without requiring you to pay for adjustment fees, while others may do this in a completely different way. Talk to your lender about the possibility of refinancing and if you’ll need to pay to have the old mortgage closed.

Is the Area Expecting Major Changes?

This isn’t about the interest rate; this is about the value of the property. If there are any major developments to be completed anytime soon and they will affect the value of properties in the area, you need to ask yourself if the property is worth it. If the development is something that enriches the local community, it could improve the property’s value; if it’s detrimental to the community and a setback for many residents, however, you could be in for a sale that will only have you paying for more than what the house is worth.

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.

Hygge & Zoning: The Next Level of Open Plan Living

Open Plan DesignOpen plan living has long been a mainstay design element for Australian homes. Now, it seems open plan living has changed into a design a little less open plan with the new zoning trend. Zoning provides homeowners with cosiness and privacy while keeping living spaces wide open.

Roots in Danish

The new home design trend can be attributed to the concept of ‘hygge’. The term, a Danish noun, refers to the art of creating intimacy. In other words, as the Oxford Dictionary defined it, hygge is the ‘quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing’.

Hygge Applied

Hygge in the form of zoning solves the problem of noise and lack of privacy in open plan living areas. You can have more intimate spaces through zoning without compromising the illusion of space. You can also have areas for fun and happiness, and relaxation and complete privacy all in the same room but separated by zoning design elements.

Natural Dividers

Now, you can zone your home design in many ways except you cannot use walls. Walls can zone your home, but it will disrupt the open plan design. Instead of walls, you can use sliding barn doors or foldable door systems. These can act as dividers when you want to split a large room. Conversely, you can tuck the doors neatly away when you want to enjoy the space.

Colour Zoning

Doors as dividers can work best even in homes in the city where space is a premium. Besides these, you can simply colour code your zones. Different spaces can have contrasting colours that make each space distinct in spite of the shared space. The floor, furnishings, and furniture, meanwhile, can tie the separate spaces together to embody openness.

You can find many other great zoning ideas online such as using a foldout screen or installing different flooring materials for different zones. You can look at your home and see which option can work.

Green Solutions to Beautify and Make Your Home More Comfy

Eco-friendly Products for the HomeA lot of Americans have become more environmentally-conscious when it comes to their buying decisions. Many of them now opt for eco-friendly products in the hopes of contributing to the green revolution. And with numerous studies revealing that such items and materials benefit both humans and Mother Earth, the number of green products entering the market has gone up.

You can begin turning your home into a more environmentally-friendly dwelling by investing in the following:

Beddings

Your bedroom should provide you with a comfortable, relaxing, and healthy environment, seeing as this is one of the places you spend a lot of time in. Much thanks to organic bamboo bedding products, you can make your bedroom do just that.

When you buy bamboo sheets, comforters, and duvet covers, not only are you doing your part in preserving nature; you’re also rewarding yourself with luxurious, yet healthy bedding materials. They feature antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties, making them a much better choice over their traditional counterparts.

Nature-responsible flooring

When you decide it’s time to give your flooring a new touch, opt for materials like reclaimed wood or bamboo.

For a more traditional appearance, while still incorporating eco-friendliness, you may want to use reclaimed wood. Naturally beautiful, these come from various salvaged, high-quality wood materials. Bamboo floors are also great options, not just because of their aesthetic appearance, but also for their durability, sustainability, and renewability.

Both types of flooring also come in many different styles and designs. Refinishing them to your liking won’t also pose an issue.

Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

Your home’s window plays many important roles in maintaining optimal indoor air quality and climate. However, they can also contribute to unwanted heat gains and losses. When this happens, you can expect things inside the house to become uncomfortable, not to mention unnecessary energy consumption.

So cover them up with eco-friendly, energy-efficient window treatments like shutters, blinds, drapes, or a combination of all three. Many of them are made from recycled or sustainable materials.

Three Maintenance Hacks for Your Weatherboard Cladding System

Weatherboard Cladding on side of Building

There are many commercially available details that can improve the look of yourhome’s exteriors. Weatherboard profiles in various colours, for instance, add a touch of elegance to your homes, which help create its own personality. If you have an aluminium weatherboard cladding system in your homes, here are some ways to maintain them properly:

1. Regular Cleaning

The majority of the things found in your home can last a long time with regular and proper cleaning. Your weatherboard cladding system is subjected to wear and tear due to external factors such as rain, sleet, snow and changing temperatures. Have a regular cleaning schedule to help reduce the chances of dirt and grime buildup. Use soapy water and soft-bristle brushes to remove any build-up and caked-on dirt before they can do damage. If you use a power washer to get the job done faster, follow your washer’s instructions to avoid damaging your weatherboard profile because of the pressure.

2. Regular Checkup and Maintenance

Cleaning your weatherboard cladding system regularly offers a good time to check for any damages. Spotting them in advance and addressing them quickly may prevent them from becoming bigger issues.

3. Protection During Construction

If you’re doing some external renovations, make sure your weatherboard profiles are well protected to avoid damaging them during the construction process. For instance, if you’re doing some paint work, cover them with plastic or paper to prevent accidental staining.

4. Gardening with Care

Pesticides and other chemicals can damage your weatherboard profiles, so be careful when using these substances near the cladding system. Some can do more harm than simple discolouration. If you need to use pesticide and other gardening chemical products, cover the exposed weatherboard profiles with plastic or paper as you would during a paint renovation project.

If you’re lucky enough to have a weatherboard cladding system, consider these tips to help clean and maintain them so they last a long time. There are many types of weatherboard profiles. Follow maintenance instructions specific for each type so you don’t end up damaging your investments.

Walk-In Tubs: Choosing the Right One

Bathroom with a BathtubA great many of the falls that occur at home happen in the bathroom. Making the bathroom safer is an important consideration especially for homeowners who are living with older adults.

One way to create a safe bathroom is installing adaptive devices such as walk-in bathtubs for the elderly. Find a suitable walk-in tub that is appropriate for you and your home.

1. Do your homework.

You need to do sufficient research on the different types of tubs available in the market. Compare and contrast the features, functionality, and prices. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to make a smart buying decision.

2. Know what you’re looking for in a bathtub.

It’s important to have a list of the attributes and functionalities you are looking for in a walk-in bathtub. What are your must-have features?  Ask the providers if the tub has quick drainage and fixtures that are easy to manipulate. Knowing your needs would help you narrow down the list of potential bathtubs.

3. Have a budget.

Walk-in bathtubs are available in a broad range of prices depending on their material, features, and functionalities. Basic walk-in bathtubs may not have the attributes you need. Conversely, you may not afford or may not be willing to spend more on a luxury tub. Therefore, align your needs and wants with your budget.

4. Consult a plumber.

You don’t want to purchase a bathtub that would be a hassle to install. Ask the advice of a plumber early on so you know what you may need to adjust in your wish list and budget.

Walk-in bathtubs enhance safety and independence of older adults. The right walk-in tub is a valuable component in raising your elderly family members’ quality of life.  Do your research and purchase a tub with the features, durability and cost that suits your needs.