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Become A Better Homeowner With These Tips

Becoming a homeowner can be a long process, becoming a good homeowner can be an even longer one. These tips from HouseLogic will help any homeowner become the best homeowner they can be. Once you read these tips, show off your skills to your close friends and family and become the envy of all the other homeowners in your neighborhood!

1. Showering Without Precautions

Spending 20 minutes in the steam may be good for your pores, but it’s also great for mold and mildew. Run the exhaust fan while you’re singing in the shower, squeegee the walls afterward, and scrub that grout every few months.

“Once you let the grout go, it gets worse and worse, and harder and harder to maintain,” says Mylène Merlo, a REALTOR® in San Diego. Grungy grout is a big turnoff for buyers. And redoing it is a pain and expensive to hire out.

2. Keeping Out the Sun

Shutting your shades on winter days might seem smart. More insulation from the chilly weather, right? Your energy bill disagrees. A sunny window can warm your home and lower your heating costs. And as a bonus, you could see a decrease in seasonal depression.

But your original idea wasn’t totally wrong. Closing those blinds at night can keep your home toasty.

Bad habits are the opposite of what makes you happy. They’re what make you miserable.
M.J. Ryan, author of “Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals”

3. Compulsively Buying Bargains

Finding a deal feels so good, but cheaper isn’t always better. In fact, budget buys might cost you more in the long run. For instance, dollar paintbrushes will leave annoying streaks, requiring a costly re-do.

And when it comes to appliances, permit a little splurge — especially if selling your home is on the horizon.

“I always err with going for high-quality appliances,” Merlo says. “There is a noticeable difference between the cheapest and next-cheapest models. And buyers want to see stainless steel.”

4. Running a Half-Full Dishwasher

You get a gold star for always remembering to start your dishwasher before bed, right? Clean dishes every morning! Go you! Yeah, about that: Your dishwasher wastes water unless it’s completely full.

Dishwashers do save more water than washing by hand (just try telling that to your mom), but most machines use the same amount of water regardless of how many plates you’ve stuffed inside, making a half-empty cycle significantly less efficient. For a household of one or two, once a day can be overkill.

5. Mega-Mulching

A “tree volcano” might sound like a grand ol’ time, but it’s actually damaging your foliage. Too much mulch suffocates your tree, causing root rot and welcoming invasive insects. Your precious trees really are precious. Each one can add $2,000 or more to your home’s value while saving on energy costs.Read More In Plant Trees to Save Energy and Grow ValueProtect your precious trees by packing mulch loosely, letting water filter properly toward the trunk.

6. Going on a Remodeling Rampage

Don’t break out the sledgehammer for a demo three weeks after moving in unless your home needs serious, obvious work. Give yourself time to understand the home’s quirks before renovating.

“You don’t know what your needs are when you first move into a home,” says Merlo. “You should live there for at least six months to figure out the space you need. If you do too much too soon, you’ll regret it.”

For instance, you could dump $15,000 into a kitchen remodel — only to realize the original layout would have worked better for holiday parties. Or you paint a room your favorite color, Wild Plum, only to realize the natural light in the room makes it look more like Rotten Plum. Whoops.

7. Packratting

You know clutter is bad, but you just… can’t… help it. You had to put that unused exercise bike in the spare room instead of by the road as a freebie because what if? Plus, there’s so much in there already, and decluttering seems like such an insurmountable goal — even though every jam-packed square foot is space you can’t enjoy.

If the task seems impossible, Ryan recommends starting small.

“Do one small thing,” she says. “Clean out a drawer or reorganize your counter, and then you feel the satisfaction of having done it. It becomes easier to do the next small thing.”

Just remember: Breaking habits takes time and a lot of slip-ups. “It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we blow it,” Ryan says. “When we create new habits, we’re building new wiring, but it’s not like the old wiring disappears. Don’t turn goof-ups into give-ups.”

Content Sourced From HouseLogic 

Don’t Overlook These Minor Projects

Moving in to your new home can be both an exciting but also stressful time. There are so many projects to do that we often overlook some of the most important ones. At first glance, these tasks may seem unimportant and can easily be placed on hold, but look again, these are actually the projects you should take care of right away. Realtor.com has called out eight projects that you should take the time from unpacking and focus on. They may seem minor, but if not attended to could create larger problems later.

Change the locks

“Before moving even one tiny piece of furniture into your new home, change the locks—or at least have them re-keyed. It’s not that you don’t trust the sellers (who are, we’re sure, perfectly respectable and upstanding citizens). It’s that you shouldn’t trust everyone who’s had contact with those keys over the years, any of whom could have copied the keys for some unsavory purpose.”

Change the alarm batteries

“Making sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries may not seemlike a pressing issue while you’re in the middle of a stressful move (and aren’t they all), but it’s the kind of thing that gets ignored and then forgotten. Better to deal with it now, when the home is empty and you can make a quick sweep of the house—without lugging a ladder around furniture.”

Review your home inspector’s report

“Can’t find your inspector’s report? Minto says reports are often filed with the escrow papers—but don’t wait until something goes wrong to pull them out. A good home inspector will outline the most important issues in their report, so use their expertise as a guide for your first few days of ownership. If they’ve marked anything as particularly pressing, make sure to handle it before moving in.”

Find the circuit breaker

“If you were there during inspection, you should know where your junction box is, but if you don’t, finding it “should be the first and foremost thing that should be attended to,” Minto says. During a move, when you’re plugging all sorts of electrical doodads into the wall, you don’t want to be lost in the dark hunting for that elusive metal box. (While you’re there, find the water shut-off, too.)”

“Then, get familiar: If it’s not already well-marked, have your spouse or another family member stand in different parts of the house while you flip different switches, and make a note of which ones handle different rooms.”

Deal with any water problems

“Looking at that inspector’s report? Deal with water-related issues immediately, says Minto. These tend to be troublesome because they’re so easily ignored—”out of sight, out of mind,” he says. A leaky toilet might seem minor, but the steady drip can damage internal structural components.”

“Check your roof, too: If the rubber vent boots on your roof are leaking, you might not know it for a while.”

“By the time they see it in a ceiling, there’s been a fair amount of water,” Minto says.”

Caulk everything

“This one isn’t mandatory, but caulking is a whole lot easier if you do it when the house is empty, letting you see all the nooks and crannies that might need a little sealing—and don’t forget the exterior. Minto says he sees caulking issues on “every home,” and while they might seem minor, it doesn’t take long before cracking gives way to leaks and even more water issues.”

Plan your emergency exits

“Before you begin bringing in furniture, walk through every room and decide how you would escape in an emergency. This can help you spot problem areas or rooms that need some adjustments—say, removing bars or adding egress windows to a basement.”

Clean your gutters

“BO-RING. Right? You can put this off until Day 2 of your big move, but don’t let the dullness of the task push you to procrastination: If the previous homeowners didn’t clean the gutters, you need to do so ASAP.”

Quoted Content Sourced From Realtor.com

Reduce Home Security False Alarms With These Tips

One thing homeowners hope to avoid when purchasing an advanced security system are false alarms. False alarms can cause major issues for assurance of having reliable home safety, to unanticipated costs attributed to a false alarm occurring, to issues of misusing Police and Fire resources. Making sure you’re prepared for potential false alarms can actually reduce the potential of it actually happening. The helpful tips below from our client, ADT, will help you reduce potential Home Security False Alarms before they even happen.

Tips For Reducing False Alarms

“You can take several steps to reduce false alarms. The first is to identify their causes.”

For Homeowners, Some of The Common Cause Are:

  • “Using incorrect keypad codes.
  • Failing to train authorized users.
  • Failure to secure doors and windows once the alarm is turned on.
  • Wandering pets.
  • Re-entering the home just after leaving without disarming (assuming the exit delay is long enough to compensate).
  • Objects hanging by or around motion detectors.
  • Weak system batteries.
  • Faulty equipment.
  • Acts of nature (strong winds, electrical storms, etc.).”

“False alarms due to faulty equipment or acts of nature are rare. The single largest cause of false alarms is human error.”

Once The Causes Are Identified, Some Basic Steps Should Help Reduce False Alarms: 

  • “Properly train all users (e.g., babysitters, relatives, children, visitors, etc.).
  • Secure doors and windows before turning on alarm.
  • Inform the monitoring center of new pass codes and arming codes, and new or removed authorized users.
  • Service and maintain the system (including batteries) properly.”

Quoted Content Sourced From ADT 

Homeowners Beware: Six Ways Your DIY Tiling Project Could Go Wrong

One of the most common DIY projects that homeowners attempt to try on their own is tiling. What may seem like a simple and fun project for a homeowner can go wrong in a hurry if you don’t plan properly or pay attention to the detail of the basics, or even try cutting costs buy purchasing cheaper materials. From not prepping properly to choosing the wrong tile, things can go wrong in a hurry if you don’t have a solid plan in place for starting and completing the project.

Courtesy of Realtor.com, here are six ways that your DIY tiling job could go wrong:

5 Winter Tips To Keep Your Pipes From Exploding

Even though winter weather is already upon us, it’s never too late to make sure you and your home are prepared for almost freezing temperatures. Cold weather can do a lot of damage to pipes in your home, freezing them and even causing them to explode if they’re too frozen. These tips from HouseLogic are great for both the experienced homeowner as well as those owning their very first home. Check out the tips below to be better prepared as well as what you can do in the scenario that your pipes have already froze.

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