In times of rising temperatures and growing concerns of climate change, many of us are looking for small ways we can make a difference in our everyday lives. What better place to start than your own home?
It can be overwhelming to plan drastic eco-friendly changes to your home. That’s why we’ve broken these tips down room-by-room so that you can make changes in just one area and then build from there. Starting small will help you see your environmentally-minded project through to the finish.
Read on for tips for each room of your home to make your life more eco-friendly.
We’ll start with a small and easy one: the bedroom. Odds are your bedroom isn’t hogging too much power or creating a lot of waste. However, there are a few small changes you can make that will help you save some money while helping out the environment.
If your bedroom tends to get chilly at night, try using insulating curtains to help keep the cool air from slipping in through the windows. Similarly, on hot days close the curtains at peak sunlight hours to keep the bedroom cool. This small change could save you from having to turn up the heat or air conditioner when you enter your room each night.
The next time you clean out your closet, bring your items to a local thrift store or charity drop-off. You can even ask for a receipt which will make your donation tax-deductible. This way your clothes can extend their lives and stay out of a landfill a bit longer, and you’ll be helping out someone who could use the clothing.
Kitchen appliances offer a lot of opportunity for energy and water waste. When shopping for appliances, seek out appliances that meet Energy Star standards.
When it comes to water, forego the plastic bottles and buy a glass or metal refillable water bottle. Tap filters can greatly improve the taste, and you might find after a few days that you don’t even notice the water tasting differently.
Consider composting kitchen scraps in a composting bin. You can later use this for fertilizing plants in your yard and garden. And, finally, be sure you’re recycling all of your empty food and beverage containers.
Is your living room your entertainment center? If so, many of your devices, like cable boxes and streaming media devices, might continue running on “standby mode” wasting electricity. To prevent this, simply plug all of your devices into a power strip and turn it off at night.
Start by using refillable hand soap containers rather than buying a new one each time you run out. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and save you trips to the store as well.
If your hot water takes a long time to heat up and you find yourself running the tap often, consider installing a recirculating water pump in your bathroom.
To save on electricity throughout the house, make sure you’re using compact fluorescent bulbs and only keeping the lights on when you’re in the room.
When cleaning, try using non-toxic cleaners or making your own from solutions of water, vinegar, and citrus essentials.
Selling a house may prove to be a long, complex and stressful process. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of enjoying a seamless house selling experience, such as:
1. Craft an Engaging Home Listing
A home listing allows you to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. Thus, you should spend some time crafting a house listing that will hit the mark with buyers.
There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing. Instead, provide clear, concise and relevant details about your home. This ensures a buyer can make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.
Also, it often helps to include high-resolution photographs of your home in your listing. These images can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house.
2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior
If your home is filled with assorted knick-knacks, antiques, and photographs, you should remove these items for the time being. By doing so, you can minimize the risk that clutter will negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house when he or she sees it in person.
Don't forget to enhance your home's curb appeal, too. If you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you will help buyers fall in love with your house. Also, be sure to repair any damaged windows or siding to further boost your house's curb appeal.
3. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home
The housing market is competitive, and failing to price your home aggressively from the get-go may make it tough to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. If you learn about your home and the local housing sector, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your listing.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal. This allows you to receive a home valuation from a property expert.
You also may want to assess the local housing sector. Review the prices of available homes in your area that are similar to your residence. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your home.
For sellers who want to streamline the home selling journey, you will want to employ a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive assistance at each stage of the process.
A real estate agent is committed to your success, and he or she will work with you to help you achieve the best possible results. This housing market professional will learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.
Want to enjoy a seamless home selling journey? Use these tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.
31 Nadine Road, Framingham, MA 01701
Applying for a mortgage is a big step towards homeownership and financial independence. If it’s your first time buying a home, you might be curious (and a little intimidated) about all of the things that go into your mortgage application.
When reviewing your application, mortgage lenders are trying to determine how risky it is to lend you money. If all goes well, and they determine that lending to you would be a worthy investment, you’ll get approved for a mortgage.
There are three main things that lenders will use when weighing your application (however, there are other factors as well).
First, they’ll run a detailed credit report. This will tell them how much other debt you have, what kind of accounts you have open, how long you’ve had this debt, and how responsible you are when it comes to making your monthly payments in time.
Second, they’ll consider how much money you’ll be using toward a down payment. A larger down payment alleviates some of the risk associated with lending to you. Therefore, people with little or no down payment saved can have a difficult time getting approved for a mortgage. And, if they do get approved, they’ll have to pay monthly private mortgage insurance on top of their regular mortgage payments.
Finally, the third main consideration will be your current income. Lenders will look at your previous two years of income (including tax returns) and will seek out current income verification from your employer.
The latter is a key part of getting approved, as lenders will want to ensure that you are in a stable financial situation and will be able to immediately start making mortgage payments.
Today’s post will center around income verification and how mortgage lenders will use your income to determine your borrowing eligibility.
How Do I Verify My Employment?
If you’re employed with a company, most lenders will reach out to your employer directly to verify your employment. You’ll be asked to sign a form that authorizes your employer to share these details with the lender, and then your part of the job is done and you can move on to the next step of your application.
Things get trickier when you’re a freelancer, are self-employed, or work with several clients as a contract worker. In these situations, lenders will typically require you to file a Form 4506-T with the IRS. This form allows your lender to obtain your tax returns directly from the IRS.
Can I submit additional information to verify my income?
There are some situations where providing additional income information can bolster your case in terms of getting approved for a mortgage.
If you own a business, your lender of choice may ask for a profit and loss statement. If you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, your clients who have paid you at least $600 or services or $10 in royalties will be required to send you a Form 1099-MISC.
If you have mixed income, such as a full-time job with freelance work on the side, showing these 1099-MISC forms can help increase your income on paper so that lenders will approve you or a higher mortgage amount or lower interest rate.
Selling a house may prove to be problematic, particularly for individuals who fail to allocate time and resources to learn about the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the housing sector and ensure you can avoid home selling crises.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you list your residence and maximize its value.
1. Create an Informative House Listing
Think about your house's pros and cons. Then, you can put together an informative home listing that makes it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence.
Of course, when you craft a home listing, it pays to be honest. If you include pertinent, accurate house information in your listing, you can help buyers determine whether your residence is the right choice.
Don't forget to incorporate high-resolution photos into your house listing too. If you include home listing photos that showcase the size and beauty of your house, many buyers soon could set up showings to view your residence.
2. Conduct a House Appraisal
When it comes to selling your house, it helps to establish an aggressive initial asking price. That way, you can list your house at a price that matches or exceeds buyers' expectations.
Establishing an aggressive initial asking price for your home, however, may prove to be difficult. But if you conduct a house appraisal, you can get a home valuation from a property expert to help you set a fair price for your residence.
In many instances, a homeowner can receive a house appraisal report within a few days. Once you have this report at your disposal, you can review your property valuation and set an aggressive initial asking price for your home.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
There is no need to embark on the home selling journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who is unafraid to be honest with you at each stage of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a house, regardless of the present housing market's conditions. As such, he or she will work with you to determine the best way to streamline the home selling journey.
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals. He or she then will craft a custom home selling strategy designed to help you achieve the optimal results. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to dozens of potential buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you examine the pros and cons of this proposal and make an informed decision.
Don't let problems get the best of you during the home selling journey. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of problems that otherwise can prevent you from enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.