Key Reasons to Include Loved Ones in Your Home Search

Ready to discover your dream home? With help from your loved ones, you may be able to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to include family members and friends in your search for the perfect home, including:

1. Loved ones are happy to help you in any way they can.

Loved ones have your best interests in mind and will do whatever they can to assist you. That way, you can get extra help as you embark on the homebuying journey.

Before you begin your home search, it may prove to be helpful to meet with loved ones so that you can explain your homebuying goals to them. This will allow you to describe what you’d like to find in your dream home. Plus, meeting with loved ones gives family members and friends an opportunity to ask you questions about your home search.

If you and your loved ones are all on the same page, you’ll be able to get ample support as you prepare to kick off your home search. Then, you and your loved ones can check out a broad array of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

2. Loved ones can share their homebuying experiences with you.

For those who are entering the real estate market for the first time or have not purchased a house in several years, it may be beneficial to involve loved ones in the property buying process.

Loved ones who have recently purchased homes can provide real estate insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. They can respond to your homebuying concerns and queries and help you prepare to enter the housing market.

Also, loved ones may be able to help you avoid potential pitfalls as you search for the ideal residence. Although some family members and friends may have made mistakes when they bought homes in the past, your loved ones can help you learn from their errors and ensure you can avoid various homebuying pitfalls.

3. Loved ones can help you make tough homebuying decisions.

Let’s face it – the decision to buy a home is one of the biggest that an individual may make in his or her lifetime. As such, the decision to purchase a home is not one that should be taken lightly.

Loved ones are happy to listen to your homebuying concerns time and time again. They can offer suggestions and recommendations as you explore homes and help you remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Of course, if you want additional assistance during the homebuying journey, it never hurts to hire an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and provide comprehensive homebuying support at any time.

Reach out to loved ones for support as you get ready to search for your dream home. By doing so, you may be able to speed up the homebuying process.

Lesser Known Recyclable Items

Household recycling has become easier than ever. Many towns and cities offer free recycling pickup, and even private waste management companies are implementing recycling programs.

There are a number of advantages to recycling. It helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of waste and making it easier to reuse raw materials. But, recycling is also advantageous to homeowners who don’t want to pay hefty fees for trash pickup when they can often recycle for free.

One of the more difficult aspects of household recycling is the learning curve of actually learning what is and isn’t recyclable. Homeowners might think something is recyclable because it’s made from plastic, only to find out later that it’s a specific type of plastic that can’t be recycled. On the other hand, you might be throwing some items in the garbage, filling up your bin each week when you could be recycling it instead.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the lesser known items you could be recycling. We’ll also cover some items you shouldn’t throw in your recycling bin, and give you tips on how to tell which is which.

Things that shouldn’t find their way into your recycling bin

It’s easy to assume that just because something looks like paper, plastic, or glass, that it can be tossed into your recycling bin. However, that isn’t always the case. Look out for these items that may not be recyclable in your area.

  • Used paper food containers. Pizza boxes are one of the biggest culprits that end up in recycling bins when they shouldn’t be. Items like paper food containers, use paper towels, and paper plates are all soiled with grease and other food residue making them ineligible for recycling.

  • Those glossy drink cartons made from unknown materials. There’s a good chance that if you can’t find a recycling logo on it somewhere it can’t be recycled. However, a growing number of cities are accepting milk cartons, so be sure to check on the rules in your area.

  • Plastic shopping bags. Those flimsy bags that you get from the supermarket? You can’t recycle those. As a result, many cities and stores are encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags. If you forget your bags at home, however, fear not: many supermarkets now accept your used plastic bags to be recirculated.

So that eliminates a lot of common household waste from being recycled. However, there are plenty of items you might not be aware of that can be tossed into the recycling bin.

Lesser known recyclable items around the house

Even if something isn’t eligible for curbside recycling doesn’t mean you should just toss it into the trash. There are many items that you can drop off or donate. Here are just a few items that are likely sitting in your house right now:

  • Old cell phones and electronics. Our gadgets are becoming obsolete at an ever-increasing rate. That means many of us have a lot of old tech junk sitting in boxes in our basements. The good news is that several stores accept free drop-offs of old electronics for reuse and recycling.

  • Mattresses and furniture. Large items like mattresses and old furniture are a pain to get rid of. They’re also likely useful to someone out there. For mattresses and box springs, try contacting retailers to see if they reuse them for materials. Furniture that is still in usable condition can be placed on Craigslist or donated to a thrift store like Goodwill or Salvation Army.

  • Oil and ink. Run out of ink in your printer? Online retailers will often pay you for your old cartridges. Also, if you recently changed your oil, drop it off at an auto parts store to be recycling into other automotive materials.

Hurricane Preparedness: Protecting Yourself and Your Home

In North America the Atlantic hurricane season begins in early June and runs all the way through November. There are, on average, roughly ten named hurricanes each season. However, there are many more smaller storms.

Hurricanes can affect regions up and down the eastern part of the U.S., but coastal areas are particularly vulnerable. Whether you live in a coastal area or plan to vacation there someday it’s important to know the steps involved in preparing a home for a hurricane.

Keeping up with maintenance

Much of the damage caused by tropical storms could be prevented if proper maintenance was carried out. Make a habit of cleaning your gutters periodically. Similarly, keep objects that could be blown away (or against your windows) secured down or inside your home.

Make sure your windows are secure. Use waterproof caulk and replace the weatherstripping on your windows when they become worn.

Storm preparedness

Before you start checking your windows and gutters, there are a few things you should do to prepare you for the storm that will keep you safe.

  • Buy enough supplies to last the storm. You don’t need to prepare for the apocalypse with stockpiles of ramen noodles. But it is a good idea to store some basic staples and water in your pantry.
  • Build a storm kit. In a sturdy, waterproof bag put two flashlights, a utility tool, a small first aid kit, an extra charger for your phone, and some cash.
  • Look up safety information for your area. If you live in a coastal area there are probably evacuation routes that you should familiarize yourself with before the storm hits.

Battening down the hatches

If a storm is imminent, here are some things you should do to temporarily make your home safer against the rain, wind, and debris associated with strong tropical storms.

  • If meteorologists predict the storm to be severe, consider reinforcing windows and roofs
  • Put head and foot bolts into the door frame
  • Rent or buy a small generator for use when the power goes out. Be sure to gas up all of your vehicles and the generator the day before the storm
  • Nail down loose shingles on your roof
  • If you have a garage, park your cars inside and bring in any outdoor furniture that could become a danger to your home or your neighbors.
  • If you don’t have a garage, cover your vehicles and strap the covers down securely
  • Use garage door braces if necessary
  • Let friends and family know where you will be when the storm arrives and plan to contact each other after the storm
  • Snap some photos of your home to use for proof of damage

During the hurricane

Once the storm arrives your work is far from over. There are several steps you should take inside your home to stay safe.

  • Stay inside your home for the duration of the storm
  • Keep away from windows and doors
  • Report any damage to your home
  • Be wary of dangerous, post-storm road conditions

 

Analyzing the Home Seller’s Perspective

To succeed in the real estate market, a home seller must understand what it takes to promote his or her residence to potential homebuyers consistently. However, transforming this dream into a reality can be exceedingly difficult, particularly for a home seller who is listing a house for the first time.

So what does it take for a home seller to succeed in any housing market, at any time? To find out, let’s consider the home seller’s perspective and look at three steps that home sellers can take to get the best results during the property selling journey.

1. Examine the Housing Market

Today’s housing market may change tomorrow. As such, an informed home seller must go above and beyond the call of duty to understand real estate market trends. By doing so, a home seller can map out his or her property selling journey accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of available homes that are similar to your own. That way, you can better understand how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Don’t forget to check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town as well. With this housing market data, you can find out whether you’re preparing to enter a seller’s or buyer’s market.

2. Perform a Home Appraisal

You might think that your home will sell just days after it reaches the real estate market. Conversely, most homebuyers might disagree, especially if you failed to maintain your house’s interior and exterior over the years.

Ultimately, a home appraisal allows you to learn about your house’s strengths and weaknesses. This appraisal enables a property inspector to review your home’s interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide you with a report that you can use to see whether your residence is housing market-ready.

If you find that your home is in need of serious improvement, there is no need to worry. Instead, you can dedicate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your residence’s interior and exterior before you list your house.

On the other hand, if a property inspector gives your home positive marks across the board, you may be ready to add your residence to the real estate market right away.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

No home seller should be forced to enter the housing market alone. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to guide you along each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home in any housing market – without exception. He or she will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. As a result, you can streamline the process of getting the best price for your residence.

Want to add your house to the real estate market? Now that you know all about the home seller’s perspective, you should have no trouble optimizing the value of your home.