Joyce Crommett's Blog
As a homebuyer, entering the real estate market with insights into what it takes to find the perfect house is essential.
Becoming an expert homebuyer, however, may seem impossible at times. Lucky for you, we're here to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to make your homeownership dreams come true.
What does it take to become an expert homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Look at Real Estate Market Trends
The housing market ebbs and flows. Therefore, a seller's market today may transform into a buyer's market tomorrow.
Ultimately, the real estate market fluctuates constantly, and you'll want to learn as much as possible about the housing sector to ensure you can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there are usually more home sellers than buyers. This means homebuyers may be better equipped than ever before to secure a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.
On the other hand, a seller's market features an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers. For homebuyers who operate in a seller's market, they may be forced to submit competitive offers on homes quickly, or risk missing out on a dream residence to a rival.
When you study the housing market, don't forget to check out the prices of residences that recently sold. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of how much you'll likely need to pay to acquire a first-rate house based on the current state of the housing market.
2. Learn How a Mortgage Works
What differentiates a fixed-rate mortgage from an adjustable-rate option? An expert homebuyer will know the ins and outs of assorted mortgage options and select one that corresponds to his or her finances.
To learn about mortgages and how they work, you'll want to meet with credit unions and banks. These lenders can describe the different types of mortgages and the pros and cons associated with them.
Also, an expert homebuyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will be able to stick to a price range as he or she searches for the ideal home.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – no homebuyer can afford to make mistakes. Fortunately, you can work with a real estate agent to receive expert guidance as you navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent boasts the skills and know-how needed to streamline the homebuying process. He or she may have many years of housing market experience and is happy to teach you about the opportunities and challenges associated with buying a house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you accelerate the homebuying cycle. He or she can set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can focus on what's important – finding a terrific house at an affordable price.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert homebuyer.
When spring arrives it brings everyone out to the backyard for games, cookouts, picnics, and a number of other fun, fair weather activities. It also brings yardwork.
With the busy schedules that most homeowners have, it can be difficult to find time to spend hours working in the yard each weekend. Depending on where you live and the size of your backyard, there are many options for making it a bit easier to take care of your lawn and garden.
In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to make caring for your backyard a lot simpler so that you can spend your time outside enjoying the weather rather than working up a sweat.
In most suburban and rural neighborhoods, lawncare seems like a competition. Everyone wants their grass to look as green as their neighbor’s. But keeping a meticulous lawn can be difficult if you have kids, pets, or just don’t have the time to spend manicuring and fertilizing your lawn. What’s more, lawncare can get expensive quickly and can go wrong just as quickly in the case of droughts and pests.
There are many ways you can simplify your lawn care. If you love having a lawn, but mowing is a pain, it can be easier to remove some obstacles from your yard. Bird baths and other decorations can be a nice accept, but sometimes they make mowing more difficult than it needs to be.
If you don’t want to deal with grass at all, or want a smaller area to mow, you have a few options.
You could make your yard more of a natural meadow by planting wildflowers and encouraging long grasses. Laying a brick path down the middle creates the air of a walkthrough garden where you can view the many florae that will be ever-changing in your yard.
If you like your yard to look neat and tidy, creating a patio and placing a few choice potted plants and trees on it will save you a lot of time pushing the lawnmower.
Choose the right plants
Many people plant bushes, trees, and flowers based solely on the fact that they like them. It makes more sense in the long run, though, to choose your plants based on their hardiness, and your ability to care for them.
Some plants are marketed as being impossible to kill. However, you should still read the care requirements to make sure they’ll work with your yard’s climate, light, and water conditions.
In warmer climates, cacti and succulents are a good choice and will likely fit the scenery. For colder climates, there are a number of conifers, shrubs, and bushes that will stay green throughout the winter, adding a bit of color to the dreary season.
A good way to make sure your yard will be low maintenance year-round is to use plants and trees that are native to your area. Since they’re in their natural habitat, they’ll likely require less work on your part.
When the temperatures rise, and pets get to go outdoors more often, a flea or tick infestation is something with which owners may have to deal. Fleas and ticks are blood-sucking parasites that make pets uncomfortable. They are also not good visitors to have within or around the home.Although it is almost impossible to rid the home and your pet of the entire flea and tick population, there are steps to take to minimize their number.
A Clean Pet
Washing your furry companion kills numerous fleas and ticks on their fur. This simple procedure is valid for only a moderate infestation. But it still goes a long way. Use a mild shampoo to wash the pet once daily for between 3-5 days. This simple step helps to get rid of most of the fleas and ticks.
Specially designed combs can pull the insects from a dog's fur. Pet owners can use them daily to brush their canine friends and pick the fleas out of the hairs. When using a flea comb, ensure that it reaches the skin before pulling out. Be gentle though, because a pet with long hair may have knots or tangles that pull out with the comb.
Flea and ticks naturally live outside the home in the backyard or lawn. Sometimes, pets first encounter them from playing outdoors and lying on the grass or hiding under plants. Keep the yard clean and mow the lawn regularly to reduce the flea and tick population. Also, use a flea prevention chemical to treat the grass and other outdoor areas. Be sure to follow each of the manufacturer’s instructions on the product to prevent any harm to the pet or family members.
During winter, from December to March, flea eggs stay alive in the home and hatch when the season passes. You can eliminate this problem by vacuuming the house thoroughly and properly disposing of the vacuum bags. Also, wash the dog’s bedding and toys with warm, soapy water. Adequate cleanliness in the home can go a long way to eliminating the pesky flea infestation.
Flea and tick control products
There are several available options for flea and tick control products, so finding the right one may be difficult. You should consult with a veterinarian before any purchase to make sure it is the right product for your pet. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use them.
Take proper action against fleas and ticks in the home with these methods. A flea-free dog is a happy and comfortable dog. If your flea or tick population gets out of hand, it's time to call in a pest-control professional.
Home automation or smart-home technology is just one piece of the bigger picture that is known as the “Internet of Things.” What this term basically means is that as technologies evolve they are becoming more ingrained into everyday objects.
What was once designated just for personal computers and cell phones is now the domain of any number of everyday objects--from our cars to our refrigerators. This means we can control things remotely, monitor our houses and our belongings, and even see if our babies are sleeping soundly from work via the latest baby monitors.
One of the most recent implementations of these technologies is in our home security systems. Home automation and security are natural companions, give us an ever-increasing number of ways to guarantee our safety within our homes.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the objects in our home that can be connected to the internet and how you can improve security at home.
Security or security risk?
Critics of the internet of things often bring up one chief concern--data security. The more objects we connect to the internet the more ways we open our data up to being compromised. To make matters worse, many electronics manufacturers aren’t concerned with the security of the devices they make, giving them no safeguards or encryption against being hacked.
In fact, these objects have already been commandeered by hackers, but not in the way you might think.
A common way to attack a website or service is to simply flood it with more traffic than it can handle. Since WiFi enabled refrigerators, webcams, and baby monitors tend to provide little protection, hackers have found ways to install malware on them that allow them to send all of these devices to a given site in an orchestrated incident known as a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service). All the while your refrigerator seems to be working normally, but behind the scenes it’s part of a “zombie” army of devices.
What items can connect to the internet?
The number of objects that come equipped with WiFi capability grows every day. Some are extremely useful. They can let you know when you’re out of paper towels or laundry detergent, they can tell you if you forgot to lock the doors or turn out the lights, or you can ask them to play your favorite playlist.
However, just because an item can connect to your WiFi doesn’t mean you should let it by default. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons.
Which items can I trust?
Unfortunately for consumers, there is no “safe to use” list when it comes to the gadgets you might have around your home. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your research on the items yourself to look for basic security measures.
First, check to see if the items are password-protected or use some form of authentication. You can often find this information on the manufacturer’s website or in the user guide.
Next, think about who makes the product. Reputable companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon all have a lot invested in the security of their customers. As a result, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod are likely to have stronger security measures in place.
Finally, you’ll have to take a look at your own security habits. Changing passwords frequently, creating complicated passwords, and being careful with your information online are all ways you can help prevent your data or identity from being compromised.
An event planner is someone who handles your event, without you having to run around to get things done. However, most people feel it is a daunting task when it comes to looking for a suitable event planner when it's not. If you need to hire an event planner for your party, there are a lot of things to consider. First of all, what aspects do you want an event planner to handle? Before looking for an event planner, decide the event's objective and the budget. Once you know what your party is about, an event planner can work out the details for food, music and other things that your party will need to be successful.
- Looking for an event planner. You need an expert, someone experienced and able to work under pressure. One of the ways to go about hiring an event planner is to ask friends and family for planners they have used before. Check online for the best event planners in your locality and make a shortlist. There are lots of them and finding them isn’t the issue, the issue is finding the best.
- Interview your applicants. Screen the event planners on your shortlist to find the best fit for you. Don't be clouded by sentiments. Give them a brief detail of the event and see if they have done something similar before. Then, gradually reduce them to the top three suitable applicants. Compare their works and try to get a handle of their personality. You want someone you can truly work with.
- Selection and budget. Once you have selected the best event planner from the list of applicants, sit down with your event planner and disclose your budget and expectations. Most people come up with an unrealistic budget and yet, want a premium event at the end of the day. It is the work of your event planner to bring you down to earth and work with you into creating a more realistic budget that fits into your finance.Also, don’t forget about the event planner’s fee. You might need to pay deposits. Some paper works might also be required so; it will be proper for you to have your lawyer around to review the contracts before they are signed.
An event planner is in charge of the event doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up. Be part of the team, to make sure you have input in significant decisions aren’t made without your input. In other words, you are expected to work hand in hand with your event planner in other to have the best event ever! Hire an event planner today to see your party come out better than your imaginations.