If you want to quickly find and acquire your dream house, it generally is beneficial to narrow your property search. Because if you focus on available homes in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to speed up the process of buying your ideal residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you locate your dream home.

1. Consider Your Short and Long-Term Aspirations

Think about where you want to be in the next few years. Then, you can map out your home search based on your short- and long-term goals.

For instance, if you currently work in a big city and intend to stay with your company for many years, you may want to search for a residence in the city itself. Or, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to focus on houses near parks and schools.

You should try to be flexible as you begin a home search too. Remember, even the best-laid plans won't necessarily come to fruition. But if you maintain flexibility, you could find a home that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.

2. Create a Budget

The homes in large cities tend to be more expensive than those in small towns. Fortunately, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can determine where you can afford to reside and plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about myriad home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with home financing in hand.

If you have concerns as you pursue a mortgage, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ expert mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to provide you with the insights you need to make an informed home financing decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are uncertain about how to approach a home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you identify your dream residence.

A real estate agent is dedicated to client satisfaction, and he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. First, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date about available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. Finally, when you are ready to close on a house, a real estate agent will help you complete your home purchase.

Dedicate time and resources to find your dream house – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can accelerate the process of locating your ideal residence and acquire a house that can serve you well for years to come.


Houseplants may seem like a strange thing to bring into your home. Plants belong outside, don’t they? Plants and people actually have a relationship where they need one another. Plants produce much-needed oxygen for humans. Humans release carbon dioxide, which plants need to perform photosynthesis. Plants should be placed throughout the home, especially in bedrooms, to release fresh air throughout the night when sleeping. Essentially, the right plants in your home can help to improve your overall health and well-being. 


Increases Humidity


Many people complain of having dry air in their homes. Plants actually release about 97 percent of the water that they take in. This moisture is released back into the air and increase the humidity in the air. This means that putting several plants together can really help to increase the moisture levels in a room. Having a more moist room helps to keep respiratory symptoms from flaring up as well as decreases the number of colds, dry skin flare ups, and other ailments associated with dry air.     


Natural Air Purifiers


Plants are natural air purifiers. They remove toxins from the air and even get rid of a large percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds can be found in everything from paint to newspapers and textbooks. VOCs are actually transformed into food for the plant. 


Just How Many Plants Should You Have?


To improve your health and the air quality in your home, you’ll want to place plants about every 129 square feet. For air purification purposes, you’ll want to place about 16-18 plants in an 1800 square foot space. This may sound like a lot, but if you consider spreading plants throughout your home, you'll fill the quota fairly quickly. Larger plants can also be used, placing one or two per room to fill this suggested requirement.  



Best Houseplant Choices:


  • Gerbera daisy
  • Spider plant
  • Boston fern
  • Philodendron
  • Snake plant
  • Peace lily


These plants all have different benefits but most are best known to purify the air, improve happiness, and increase well-being.

If you don’t have a green thumb, you should definitely get one. Most houseplants are not that hard to take care of. It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to equip your home with a good number of houseplants. The greenery will also add to the ambiance and decor of your home’s overall theme. Every room, including the bathroom, can benefit from these plants. Think of houseplants like another member of the family- one that gives you oxygen and clean air to breathe!       


 



Applying for a mortgage can be a lengthy and difficult process. Lenders want to know that they are going to get a return on their investment.

To ensure that they’ll see that positive return they will take a number of things into consideration, such as your income, credit score, employment history, and financial capital.

First-time homeowners often struggle when it comes to these prerequisites since they have fewer years of numbers for lenders to consider. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry--you can still purchase a home.

First-time homeowner loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. government, and a number of private loans enable people to borrow money for a home without paying a huge down payment or having a vast credit history.

One downfall of said loans is private mortgage insurance, or “PMI.”

In this article, we’re going to talk about what private mortgage insurance is, how to avoid it, and how to get rid of it. 

What is PMI?

If you make a down payment on a mortgage that is less than 20% of the loan amount, you will most likely have to pay private mortgage insurance.

PMI exists as a way for lenders to help guarantee they won’t lose money off of your loan. If you make a down payment of 20% or more, then lenders are typically satisfied that they won’t lose money from doing business with you.

PMI is not to be confused with home insurance, which protects you against damage and theft. Rather, it is an additional fee you’ll pay to your lender each month that is added to your mortgage payment.

PMI is calculated based on a few considerations. Lenders will take into account your down payment amount, the value of the mortgage, and your credit score.

In terms of costs, PMI typically costs between .5 and 1% of the total mortgage amount each year.

Avoiding PMI

Naturally, it’s best to avoid paying private mortgage insurance altogether. Private mortgage insurance has no future value for you and your family since it doesn’t count towards building equity and doesn’t protect you from any potential financial harm (your lender is the sole beneficiary of PMI).

Saving for a down payment can take time, and sometimes you’ll need to rent or cut costs while you save. However, if you do take on a loan with PMI, you can still cancel it at a later point.

Canceling your private mortgage insurance

The first thing you should know about canceling PMI is that it usually isn’t easy. You’ll need pay off at least 20% of the home, write a letter to your lender, and wait for an appraisal of the home. Once you’ve done this, you still have to wait while your lender considers your request. In all, this process could take months--months that you’re still required to pay PMI.

Once common way to get out of PMI is to refinance. If the value of your home has increased since the time of you taking on the loan, the new lender likely won’t require PMI. However, you’ll want to make sure that refinancing will get you a lower interest rate and cover the costs of refinancing. 


If you have a list of home contractors that you use and are satisfied with, consider your yourself lucky!

Many homeowners find themselves in the unenviable position of having to blindly search online for reputable contractors, sort their way through dozens of miscellaneous reviews, and then hopefully find a handful of promising candidates to interview.

Even after all that, there's no guarantee you'll be 100% satisfied with your choice!

Although picking a contractor may sometimes feel like a gamble, there are strategies for lowering your risk factor.

A personal recommendation from someone you know and trust is usually the most reliable method of finding the right person for the job. If a relative or friend has had a positive experience with a roofer, bathroom remodeler, or plumber, then there's a good chance, you'll be satisfied with them, too. It's still a good idea to get two or three contractor estimates, but a good starting point is to have at least one recommendation from someone who has your best interest at heart.

Do Online Reviews Help?

Online review sites can also provide helpful information and feedback, but they're not always the "unvarnished truth". In spite of efforts by review sites to discourage biased reviews, some are probably going to slip through. For example: Have you ever read a review that sounded like it was an advertisement for the contractor? Sometimes when the praise sounds just a little too glowing and over the top, you can't help but wonder if those reviews are genuine and unbiased. Although the majority of online reviews are probably legit, the best way to view them is with a healthy dose of skepticism.

When it comes to the occasional scathing review by a disgruntled customer, one has to put it in context and look at "the big picture." There are some customers who are literally impossible to satisfy and will always find something to complain about. However, if a contractor has more than one or two negative reviews online, and they're not offset by a couple dozen positive ones, then that could be a potential red flag. Since you don't know the reviewers personally, and the reviews are often posted anonymously, the credibility factor is much lower than if you got a recommendation from one of your parents, a close friend, a next-door neighbor, a sibling, business associate, or your real estate agent.

The point at which you should be able to separate the "wheat from the chaff" is during your face-to-face meetings. If a contractor gives every you indication of being professional, honest, knowledgeable, experienced, ethical, and customer-service oriented, then they're probably a good prospect for the job. Other factors include the price they quote, their Better Business Bureau rating, and their willingness to provide references, proof of insurance coverage (such as general liability and Workers' Comp, if applicable) and direct answers to all your questions


If you recently sold your house, there may be only a few weeks before you need to relocate to a new address. As such, you'll likely face a time crunch to pack up your belongings and get rid of excess items, including various home appliances.

Although your refrigerator, washer, dryer and other home appliances have served you well for many years, there is no time like the present to sell these items. That way, you can earn extra cash and avoid the hassle of moving these big, heavy items from your current address to your new one.

For home sellers who have only a short amount of time to sell their appliances, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to sell your appliances and maximize their value.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you sell your appliances before moving day.

1. List Your Appliances Online

Create an online listing for each of your home appliances, and you should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in these items.

When you craft an online listing, it is important to include as much information as possible. Therefore, you should provide details about a home appliance's age and condition, along with photos. This will make it easy for a home appliance shopper to determine whether a particular appliance is the right choice.

Also, share your online listing with family members and friends. And if you post your online listing on social networks, you may be able to generate significant interest in an appliance in no time at all.

2. Host a Yard Sale

A yard sale offers a great opportunity to sell home appliances and other items before you move.

Host a yard sale on a Saturday or Sunday and start your yard sale in the morning. By doing so, you can improve your chances of attracting a wide range of yard sale shoppers.

In addition, be open to negotiating with yard sale shoppers. If you maintain flexibility on the price of a home appliance, you can boost your chances of a quick sale.

3. Post Flyers in Your Community

Craft flyers that include information about your appliances and post them in your community. This will allow you to generate interest from local buyers.

Flyers should be clear, concise and informative. They can include information about an appliance, along with contact information that enables buyers to reach you via phone or email.

Lastly, if you need to sell appliances prior to moving day, it often pays to consult with a real estate agent.

In many instances, a real estate agent can offer recommendations and suggestions to help you streamline the moving process. As a result, this housing market professional can make it easy for you to sell home appliances and other items before you move.

Ready to sell your home appliances? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your appliances to the right groups of buyers.




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