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Great Summertime Home Maintenance Tips

Springtime is here, and before you know it Summer will be here as well. With the warmer weather about to hit us in full force, it’s important that our homes are able to withstand the changes that come with it. Keeping up with home maintenance is always a good thing, but there are certain things you should do to make sure your house is in tip-top shape depending on the time of year and where you’re located. With summertime so close, let’s take a look at a few great summertime home maintenance tips.

 

Stop The Bugs!

Summertime means spending more time outside, which means you’ll want to keep your yard free of those pesky insects. One simple way to keep them away is to spray around the perimeter of your yard and your home. You can also use a combination of bug spray and door and window treatments to keep them away. Since so many pests tend to wake up in the summertime, you may want to consider recaulking your doors and windows to make sure the bugs don’t get into your home as well.

 

Power Wash Time!

One of the easiest things to do during your summertime home maintenance is using a pressure washer to clean areas such as your driveway, patio, or deck. After giving these areas a full inspection, you can then wash away all of the dirt and grime that have accumulated over the past year. You can rent a pressure washer for around $40 a day at a local home improvement store if you don’t own one.

 

Prep The Grill

Before you start preparing your grill for the summer season, you’ll want to make sure it’s sanitary after a year of just sitting around. For gas grills, you can heat it up for around 20 minutes and then scrub the outer surface with a grill brush. For charcoal grills, you can use a bucket of hot water and a sponge to get rid of any debris that’s blocking the hoses. Also, make sure that the grill is placed away from any flammable objects.

 

Wash Windows and Replace Screens

Getting your windows cleaned isn’t enough if you don’t also wash their screens. To get the job done, remove the old screens and use hot water to scrub them.

If your screens are too dirty to be cleaned, you might want to replace them. While you’re at it, inspect your doors and windows to make sure they’re properly sealed. Doing so will keep the cool air in your home and keep the warm air out.

Buying A Home In 2022

Real estate is constantly changing, and buying a home has become extremely difficult over the past few years. In 2021, property values skyrocketed, making real estate great for sellers but challenging for buyers. Experts expect the market to relax a little bit in 2022, but it’s still not the most ideal situation for many buyers. That doesn’t mean you should avoid buying all together. If you do your research and are diligent, you can certainly find your dream home. Read on to learn a little bit about buying a home in 2022.

 

Home Prices Will Keep Rising, But At A Slower Rate

Although home prices are expected to continue rising in 2022, they’ll be at a slower pace than they were in 2021. According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices are expected to increase by just 2.8% in 2022. Other experts, such as the mortgage bankers association and the housing finance company Fannie Mae, predict a more modest increase of around 7%.

 

Mortgage Rates Will Increase, But Still Be Low

Despite the expected increase in mortgage rates in 2022, the average 30-year fixed-rate remained at a historic low of 3% in 2021. It’s important to note that even if the increase is as predicted, the mortgage rates will still be fairly low.

 

According to Yun of the National Association of Realtors, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will increase to 3.7% in the coming months. Other organizations such as The Mortgage Bankers Association or Fannie Mae believe that it will raise to 4% and 3.3%, respectively.

 

Actually Buying A Home

Knowing a bit more about the housing situation in 2022, you may decide to go ahead and start house hunting. But are you prepared? Ask yourself a few questions to be sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

 

Are You Financially Prepared?

No matter what the housing market is like, it’s always important that you make sure you’re financially prepared to buy a house. This means a lot more than being able to make a mortgage payment each month. You’ll want to make sure you have the money put aside for closing costs, moving costs, potential repair costs and so much more. You’ll also want to make sure you have a high enough credit score to take out a mortgage.

 

Research Neighborhoods

It’s important to research the places you’re considering moving to. You don’t want to buy a house and then find out months later that you hate the area. If you have kids, research the local school system. You may want to look at crime rates, or what the weather tends to be like in the area so you can avoid potential flood zones. These things are important to make sure you’re happy with your home in the long run.

 

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

Finding an experienced real estate agent who cares more about making their clients happy than they do making a sale is integral to finding the perfect home. Research local realtor reviews, or ask friends and loved ones for recommendations. The agent you work with can make or break the entire homebuying process.

Direct Real Estate Investing vs. REITS

Many people are confused about how to invest in real estate, as there are many different types of REITs. Real estate investment trusts are corporations that manage properties for investors.

Direct Real Estate

Direct real estate investing is a way to get into the real estate market without having to spend a huge sum of money. It allows you to generate steady and attractive returns by investing in properties that are worth their rental income.

Direct Real Estate Pros

One of the many advantages of investing in real estate is that it can generate substantial cash flow. This can be done through various tax breaks. One of these is depreciation, which allows you to reduce the cost of buying and improving a property.

Even though the stock market fluctuates, the real estate market generally rises over time. This means that investors may be able to sell their properties at a higher price later.

With direct real estate, you have more control over your money and the properties you buy. For example, you can set rental prices, determine how many properties to buy and refinance your mortgage when the market drops.

Direct Real Estate Cons

One of the biggest disadvantages of direct real estate investing is that it requires a large amount of time and energy to be successful. Another disadvantage of direct real estate is that many investors require financing to pay for their investments.

If the market tanks, they may default on their loan. Real estate is not a liquid asset. This means you will not have the chance to sell a property quickly if you find yourself in need of emergency cash.

REITs

A REIT is a corporation that invests in income-producing real estate. It is typically modeled after mutual funds. In the US, there are more than 225 REITs that are listed on major stock exchanges. With a combined market value of over $1 trillion, these companies are the world’s largest REITs.

Pros and Cons of REITs

One of the main advantages of REITs is that they allow investors to access the profits of the real estate market without being bound by traditional real estate investing rules.

With a 5% dividend yield, REITs are likely to have the highest total return potential. They also have the potential to increase their capital appreciation. Like stocks, REITs trade under heavy volume. This means investors can buy and sell their shares without being forced to do so.

Some of the drawbacks of REITs are that they are not considered “qualified dividends” by the IRS. This means they are taxed at a higher rate than ordinary dividends.

Another downside of REITs is that they are sensitive to changes in interest rates.

Rising rates can make their prices go down while increasing interest rates can stimulate demand. One other thing that’s negative about REITs is that they tend to focus on a specific type of real estate, such as hotels. If this type of property is your main concern, then you’re prone to experiencing property-specific risks.

If you’re looking for a more conservative approach to real estate investing, direct real estate may be a better choice. It’s also likely to provide you with tax breaks. The appeal of REITs is that it allows people who don’t want to manage real estate to get into it. They also provide a good way for people who have limited time and energy to learn about the industry.

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Winter Home Maintenance Tips

It is essential to make sure that you maintain your home well throughout the winter. No matter what time of the winter it is, checking the various areas of your home on a regular basis can help you avoid an emergency when temperatures drop.

Repair or Replace Gutters

It is vital to keep the gutters on your home clean and repaired when needed. Clearing out your gutters to make sure they drain properly is a great way to ensure that your roof, foundation, and landscaping are all well cared for during the winter.

Make Sure Window Wells are Clean

If you have window wells for the basement of your home, it is essential to make sure that they are easily accessed from the inside and outside. Cleaning them out periodically and making sure the windows are easy to open are good safety measures.

Clean Your Dryer Vents

It is essential to maintain dryer vents to start fires if they get clogged. Adding this cleaning to your monthly home maintenance calendar will ensure that the vent is always clean and less of a fire hazard.

Make Sure Your Heating System Runs Efficiently

Having an issue with your heating system during the winter is never fun. Consider having your heating system inspected to ensure that it runs efficiently and doesn’t need minor repairs. If you know there is a problem, it will probably worsen during the winter because your system is under more stress. It can also save you money in the future if you get the more minor issues taken care of right away.

Get a Plumber to do an Annual Check

Having your sewer lines checked and your water pipes insulated is vital during the winter because having a plumbing problem in the winter is much more of a hassle. You can get a plumber to inspect the pipes in your home to make sure everything is working correctly, and there are no clogs that will worsen when it is cold.

Have Your Roof Checked

During the winter months, it is easy for a home to have excess ice or ice dams that form on the home, which can cause damage to the home. To avoid this, it is crucial to ensure that your attic is well insulated and you don’t already have damage to your roof.

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Don’t Make these Mistakes as a New Homeowner

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There are so many things to do and decisions to make! But if you want your new house to feel like a true home, there are some mistakes that you should avoid. We’ve compiled this list of four mistakes that people often make when they’re first starting as homeowners:

Not getting to know the neighborhood

One of the best things about moving into a new home is getting to know your neighbors. But this can only happen if you take the time to get to know your neighborhood. Spend some time walking around and talking to people. Find out what kind of activities going on in the area, and see if there’s a neighborhood watch program or community garden that you can get involved in. The more connected you are to your neighborhood, the more comfortable you’ll feel living there.

Not decorating enough

It’s easy to want to just move all of your furniture in and call it a day, but unless you’re good at arranging furniture, your house is going to look pretty boring. Take the time to decorate your home in a way that reflects your personality. Hang pictures on the walls, put up some shelves, and buy some plants. Not only will it make your house more comfortable to live in, but it’ll also make it feel like home.

Not taking care of the basics

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving into a new home and forget about all of the basic upkeep that needs to be done. But if you want your home to last, you need to take care of the basics like painting, caulking, and repairing broken appliances. You don’t have to do all of this yourself, but it’s important to have a plan in place for who is going to do it and when.

Not getting organized

One of the best things about having your place is being able to finally organize all of your stuff the way you want. But this can only happen if you take the time to get organized right from the start. Create a system for everything and stick to it. This will make finding things a lot easier, and it’ll also help keep your home clean and clutter-free.

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