Monthly Archives: April 2017

Raising Your Down Payment for a Dream House

Man and woman bought a homeThe hefty down payment needed to buy a house makes home ownership a pipe dream for many Americans. Still, determined buyers can find ways to jump over the down payment hurdle. If down payment is also an issue for you, consider the following five non-traditional sources of down payment cash.

A part-time job

A part-time job could help you supplement your income and repair your debt to income ratio. You can also put all the earnings from your second job into saving a vehicle dedicated to your down payment. And as you increase your nest egg, you’ll be too busy hustling to spend extra cash.

Down payment assistance programs

There are several assistance programs available across the country. For instance, the Department of Veteran Affairs offers mortgage assistance to veterans and those still on active military duty. Talk to a mortgage company in Utah about assistance programs available in the state.

City Creek Mortgage stresses that the most important consideration is it should charge the lowest rates.

Selling stuff

Sites such as eBay can help you sell some of the belongings you have accumulated along the way. Put the money you get into your down payment nest egg.

Gifts

Your lender may allow you to use gift money from a relative or friend for your down payment. If a gift is an option for you, you will need a letter from your benefactor verifying that the cash is a gift and not a loan. Be sure to check with your lender or broker about other applicable guidelines.

Downsizing

Home-ownership comes at a cost. Sometimes, that cost involves lifestyle changes to free up money. If you want the down payment soon, your options may include selling your car and moving to a smaller apartment. Conversely, cutting back on the cash you use buying coffee and dining out can help if time is on your side.

Coming up with enough cash for a home down payment is usually the biggest challenge towards home-ownership. Still, determined buyers can harness the above non-traditional resources to power their home-buying pursuits. ​

Planning Consultants: Why You Need One

Men planning to build an establishmentBuilding an establishment entails the expertise of different types of professionals. Architects, engineers, and contractors are needed, but some people choose to forego hiring planning consultants. The word “consultant” might have scared them off, but in reality, these professionals are essential members of your project.

What are planning consultants?

Planning consultants are responsible for getting the project approved. They offer advice, assessment, and planning services to make sure that your project will be carried out smoothly. Project consultants are well aware of the demands and policies of the government and make sure that your project complies with it. In instances where a project was not approved, Cato Bolam Consultants says that it is also the role of the planning consultant to pose an appeal and hopefully get the permission to build.

Despite the important role planning consultants have in any project, many think they are redundant hires. However, having one is still advisable for practical reasons.

When should you hire planning consultants?

It is advisable to have a planning consultant involved as early as possible in the project. In their field of work, they have the ability to see the big picture and interpret fast changing building policies. Your architect might be able to help you with certain regulations, but would not be able to help you get through some of the legalities.

Planning consultants also provide a different perspective on your company culture.  They could also give you an honest assessment of your plans and be able to link strategy with execution.  Doing so includes identifying what doesn’t work and doing the necessary changes to improve the plan.

Hiring a planning consultant for your project is an essential step in making sure that your project takes off according to plan.

Second-hand Car Purchasing Tips

Buying used carBuying a car need not be the reason why you are drowning in debt. But, you should not deprive yourself of life’s comforts as well. Luckily, there are such thing as used cars which you can buy and use without busting your life savings.

Before you purchase from a private seller or a dealer in Auckland like Auckland Motors, here are some things you need to take note of when buying used cars.

Tips for buying used cars

 1. Have a budget

Have a realistic budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse buying by reminding yourself on why you want to have that type of car in the first place. Your budget should include not just the initial purchase amount but also expenses you would need for repairs and maintenance.

2. Check the mileage

The first thing you should check when buying used cars is their mileage. Vehicles start to wear out at 60,000-70,000km. Therefore, anything beyond 100,000km should not be considered as it would cost you a lot of repair and maintenance.

3. Research the vehicle

Know as much information as you can about the vehicle you are going to buy. That way, you would know what to expect when you take it for a test run as well as have an idea on how to maintain it.

4. Inspect

Once you get it for a test run, inspect the vehicle inside and out. Check its engine and get a hold of its maintenance records to see whether there are things you need to expect and be worried about as the potential new owner. Then check on the exteriors and its overall appearance.

5. Know when to walk away

If the deal is too good to be true, chances are, it is. When this happens, learn how to walk away find another one.

A lot of people are afraid to buy used cars for fear of getting scammed. However, with proper research and evaluation, you would be able to land a suitable deal.

Market Your Property to the Right Audience

Man and woman bought a homeWhen you wish to sell your property, it is important for you to know the real estate market to an extent. You should consider carefully and identify the customer who would be interested in your property. To be able to sell your property successfully for a good price within a short period, you should find the right customer base.

A few guidelines on types of properties

New apartments or townhomes in Utah or elsewhere are ideal for couples planning to have a family. People with growing children require space. Families with older relatives or for couples over sixty might wish for houses that require little maintenance.

One or two bedroom apartments are best suited for single people or very young couples who are just starting out.

Apartments, condos, or townhomes for rent with amenities such as tennis courts, gym, and swimming pools, these are ideal for young couples and single individuals who wish to follow an active lifestyle.

Larger homes in suburban neighborhoods with nearby hospitals, schools, shopping centers, and movie theaters appeal to couples and families.

Apart from the house design, the location is also essential in determining the price you will set for the property. Make sure to check other properties for sale to compare.

Where to market?

If you have a property to sell or lease, it would be best to gain the services of a real property agent to sell it to the right audience.  You could also advertise in your local newspaper or go online to market your property. Make sure to improve the appearance of your property to make it appealing.

When selling your property, it’s always best to get the help of a professional to help you find the right audience. Knowing what, where and who is always essential in a successful real property sale.

4 Easy Tips to Look Presentable Wherever You Go

Dentist working on a patient

A dentist tending to a patient during an appointment There’s no denying the importance of creating a positive first impression everywhere you are. However, to make this impression last, you need to sustain it every day. Hence, the importance of looking presentable all the time. Here are some quick tips to remain elegant both at home and in the office.

Pay attention to personal hygiene

Keep yourself clean by taking a bath every day. Take care of your teeth by cleaning them regularly. Visit a dentist in Indianapolis to have your dental crowns inspected and treated if need be. Ensuring you are clean in the morning boosts your self-confidence for the rest of the day.

Make sure you are well-groomed

Keep your hair properly groomed. There are a variety of presentable hairstyles that work well with women. For men, keep your mustache neat and your hair trimmed. Remember to care for your nails too by keeping them short and clean. Avoid elaborate nail art, particularly in the office.

Wear clean, fitting clothes

Your outfit immediately communicates your personality. People who don’t know you judge who you are based on what you are wearing, so ensure you are sending the right message. While selecting your outfit for the day, go for what makes you feel comfortable, confident, and attractive.

Go easy on the perfume

Your choice of fragrance is crucial for your image. Go for something mild so that you don’t make people uncomfortable. Avoid wearing too much perfume. People shouldn’t smell you unless they come too close to you. The last thing you want is to become associated with a strong smell by people around you.

Your friends and family may know you as a beautiful person on the inside, but you still need to make that beauty seen by everyone on the outside. Taking the initiative to look good can leave a powerful impression on people wherever you go.

Get the Locks You Have Always Wanted

YWoman having her hair extensionou most likely wonder how celebrities and models manage to have such glamorous hair. The answer is quite simple: many of them use hair extensions. But not just any extensions – they use the best ones to ensure that the addition looks as natural and beautiful as possible.

The hair experts at Anchante Hair explain that these beauty products aren’t just for adding length. You’ll now find clip-on hair extensions that also boost volume, making your tresses look and feel even more amazing.

Great solution to hair loss or thinning

Although thinning hair or loss affects more men than women, it has the same devastating effects, including a huge toll on one’s confidence.

You can regain your locks and self-esteem with hair extensions designed to give your head of hair more volume. You’ll find products specifically designed not only for those with finer hair but also for those suffering from alopecia. With these attached to your natural hair, you’ll feel more confident.

Quick and easy hair volume

A lot of people have naturally fine hair. The problem with this is that their crown looks flat, no matter how much they try to style or blow dry it.

If you’ve always wanted to have more volume, consider having extensions to have a thicker set of locks. You’ll be surprised at the significant improvement. There are several weights to choose from though, and your decision should depend on the specific hair type you have. For finer hair, lighter sets are more appropriate. For those with medium-thick tresses, look for mid-weight extensions. For a more voluminous effect, choose a thicker and heavier hair extension.

Make sure you invest in top quality hair extensions that will last long and complement your natural hair. You don’t need to suffer in silence when hair thinning or hair loss strikes; a hair extension can be the answer to your worries.

Where Do Rodents Nest in Your Home?

MouseNobody ever welcomes huge, disgusting rats into their homes; but, unfortunately, these critters can invite themselves into your place without you even knowing. They can nest in certain parts of your home, where they can cause serious damage. It is vital to identify these locations, so you can regularly check for infestation.

Common Nesting Locations

Typically, rats nest in areas where they can obtain access to food and water. Nesting sites include enclosed places such as crawl spaces, attics, between walls, under porches, or in boxed-in plumbing. Rats hide in these spots during the day and move around your home through cracks and holes in the walls at night.

Signs of Rat Nests

Rats build their nests using twigs, cotton, fabric, shredded paper, and other man-made debris. So, if you happen upon these materials —plus other signs of current presence, such as fresh droppings, tracks, and odor— in one spot, then you better call a professional home pest control company in Corona, CA.

Prevention of Rat Nest Constructions

Through regular cleaning and upkeep, you can prevent troublesome rats from building nests in and around your home. For one, seal all the cracks and unnecessary openings on your property and cover your floor drains with grates and windows with screens. Make sure you store all the food products in your kitchen cupboard in tightly-sealed metal cans. Perform regular yard cleanups; throw away all the debris piles and clean the water fixtures. More importantly, make certain that all your trash is placed in proper storage.

With pest infestations, it is always better to solve the issue before it gets out of hand. So, once you see signs of rat presence in your home, place traps or poison baits to address the problem. Better still, get help from a pest removal expert, right away. 

3 Home Renovation Projects to Improve Your Home’s Appearance and Value

Gorgeous layout of a home's living space

Renovations can have a significant impact on your home’s overall appeal and value. But the most challenging part is choosing what changes you should make, as these can greatly affect everything in your home.

To make the best decision out of all the options you have, here are some suggestions for you:

Focus on Curb Appeal

The moment guests enter your premises, the first thing they would notice is what is outside. No matter how big or small your yard is, it has a significant effect on the appeal and value of your property. When you say curb appeal, this is not only limited to the garden area. Instead, it refers to everything you see outside.

According to a garden designer in Essex, people often misunderstand the term because they only think of plants, landscape and garden. It actually refers to the entire exterior aspect of your place. Even Oakleigh Manor agrees with this.

Repurpose Unused Space

Whether it is the attic or the basement, you will find a new function for these areas. As long as you stick with your lifestyle and interests, you will never have to worry about finding the right use for every space you have.

If you love books and arts, you might as well turn an unused space into a reading nook or a mini gallery. If you often host overnight get-together, you could create an extension of your guest room. When you have ideas, you can breathe a new life into that extra space.

Remodel Your Kitchen and Bath

Even real estate agents would agree that kitchen and bathroom renovations add great value and enhance the appeal of your home. A simple update on the paint job or replacements on the sink and countertop can create a stunning addition to your home. These are the areas where family members spend most of their time.

When it comes to home upgrades, your options are endless. It is important to consider which projects would be worth your money, particularly if you have plans on selling your house in the future. Do not forget your family’s comfort as you embark on a new renovation project.

Office Styling Tips You Should Remember

Conference Table Workplace InteriorInstead of asking, observe. That is what one interior designer says to entrepreneurs when it comes to styling their offices. You should pay attention to what your workers usually do and how they use the items in the office. Based on your observation, decide how to change your workplace for the better.

There can choose many design themes for your office. There are lots of options for aviator themed office furniture sets if you are after an industrial feel. After deciding on a design theme, consider the following factors when you style your workplace.

Movement

It is a no-brainer employees should be able to move around in the office with relative ease. However, many office interiors tend to restrict workers’ movements. There might be too many tables or bulky equipment. The dividers might also be doing more harm than good.

If you want your employees to be more creative, you should make them feel more liberated in their workplace. Let two or more employees share one table to save some space. Moreover, encourage them to discuss while walking every once in a while, instead of just sitting in the conference room.

It is also a good idea to apply zoning principles in your office interior. Aside from the desks, there should be comfy chairs where your employees may want to rest. You may set up a place where they can catch up and drink coffee.

Nature

People still respond to natural elements like the darkness of the night sky. That is why you should not disregard adding some elements from nature when you style your office interior. Plants in the office are the best examples. You may also install bigger windows to allow natural light to come in.

You can mix and match natural elements and modern design themes. You can also go for wallpaper that has patterns found in nature.

If you want your employees to be more creative, you ought to think about improving their workplace first. When styling an office, consider what your employees want and need. Do not just ask them directly; you should also observe. You should also put into consideration movement and nature.

For the Love of Beige: How to Use Beige Paint in your Home

living room and dining area in beigeBeige, beige, beige — it’s simply everywhere and plain boring. The thing is, it’s often used as a default colour with no actual thought to value, hue, and tone, as well as other colours that might look good with it. Beige is a subtly dramatic colour — the right shade could change the entire atmosphere of your home and would look different subject to different types of lighting and architecture.

Gavin Chan Decorators Limited and other designers list some inspiring ideas that could make anyone reconsider using beige for their homes:

  • Layering different tones of beige create a calming and soft look that would make you feel as if you’re walking on a cloud of cashmere. Beige, regardless if they’re dark or light, works well with crisp white trim. If you’re after a traditional and classic look, this might be the ideal option for you.
     
  • Cool and light beige tones, when used in a massive space, would add some warmth and cosiness, but would still look modern. These are ideal alternatives to white in large, modern spaces.
     
  • In the kitchen, beige appliances and cabinets are an awesome substitute for sterile white or silver. Your kitchen would still look clean and crisp, but less austere and warmer.
     
  • Warm rich beiges with vivid colours, like bright red for instance with some crisp white trim, is a winning combination. You could easily showcase intricate architectural details with the contrast between white trim and the beige walls.
     
  • Why limit to using beige on your walls when you could also use it on the trim? Consider a door in dark beige with light beige and white walls. In addition, why not use beige as an accent colour instead of a base colour? Beige walls could showcase different angles in a space and provide it much needed depth.

Do you see it now? Although beige is favoured in more traditional home styles, you could use it anywhere in your home regardless of the style of your home. Whether your home’s aesthetic is a classic, contemporary, eclectic, mid-century, or bohemian, you’d definitely find a space for beige in your home.