Michael Galvin's Blog
Purchasing a home is a sign of new financial responsibility for many people. The leap into homeownership is a big and important step. Finding a home and securing a mortgage isn’t easy. Getting ready to take on a mortgage can require a lot of research and education on your part. Before you get too confused, you’ll need to learn the basics of a mortgage and what you should know before you apply.
This is probably the best advice for any first time homebuyer. Find some good lenders in your area. You can sit down with a lender and talk about your goals. The bank will be able to explain all of the costs and fees associated with buying a home ahead of time. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you head into a purchase contract without any surprises.
What’s Involved In A Loan?
Each mortgage is a different situation. This is why meeting with a lender ahead of time is a good idea. Your real estate agent can suggest a mortgage lender if you don’t have one in mind. No one will be happier for you than your real estate agent if you have a smooth real estate transaction. You’ll be able to walk through the mortgage process step by step with a loan officer and understand the specifics of your own scenario.
What You’ll Need For A Mortgage
There’s a few things that you’ll need to have ready before you can even begin searching for a home.
Cash For A Down Payment
You’ll need to save up a bit of cash before you know that you’re ready to buy a home. It’s recommended that you have at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down towards your loan initially.
A Good Working Knowledge Of Personal Finances
You should have an understanding of your own finances in order to buy a home. Not only will this help you save, but it will help you to ensure that you’re not going to overextend yourself financially after you secure the mortgage. To get your finances in order, honestly record all of your monthly expenses and spending habits, so you know exactly what you can afford.
The Price Range Of Homes You’re Interested In
If you have an idea of what kind of home you’d like, it will make your entire house shopping experience a lot easier. You’ll be able to see exactly what you can afford and how much you need to save. When your wish list equates to half-million dollar homes, and you find that you can only afford around $300,000, you don’t need to go into shock! It’s good to have an idea of how much house you can afford and what it will get you. When you do a little homework, you’ll discover that buying a home isn’t such a hard process when you’re prepared!
84 Prescott Dr, Chelmsford, MA 01863
SuppliesThe best part about blanket forts is that you can build them with whatever you have at hand. There are a few items, however, that will make your fort structurally sound. The bare necessities are:
- Blankets (as many as possible)
- Sofa cushions (you'll want to stack these to make a crawl-through doorway)
- Chairs (to toss the blankets over; these are the bones of your fort)
- Broom sticks or any other tall pole (to raise the roof)
- Something to clip blankets with
- Lighting. Bring flashlights, christmas lights, black lights, or a lantern inside your fort to illuminate the fun activities you can do inside.
- Games. Once inside your fort you're not just going to lay there (until bed time anyway). Bring in board games, Jenga, or whatever you have laying around.
- Friends. Stuffed animals, dolls, action figures... make it a party.
- Sleeping bags. If your fort makes it through the night you'll want something comfy to sleep in.
- Food. You can't have the campfire but you can have the S'mores. Cook them in the microwave or toaster oven and eat them inside the fort.
- Laptop. This is strictly for movies, not for Facebook.
TechniqueIt doesn't take a structural engineer to build a blanket fort (though I'm sure they'd build a really awesome one that we'd all be envious of). Use the biggest blankets for the largest part of the roof, smaller blankets for walls and objects that can't hold a lot of weight without tipping. Use your environment to your advantage. If the room you're in has anything you can toss blankets over--like a table--or if there are window-sills you can clip blankets to, use these features to optimize your experience. Using slightly translucent blankets underneath the lights in your room will add a nice glow to the inside. If you want it to be more like camping out, turn the lights off in the room and only use lights inside the fort. The best part of making a blanket fort is that it's your own creation. Use our guidelines to get started, but once the blankets are out--anything goes.
Remodeling your home is something you’ve likely considered for a long time and have carefully planned. However, if you’re not an expert carpenter designer it can be easy to make novice mistakes. Learning by your mistakes is fine, but when those mistakes are an eyesore or cost hundreds of dollars, you’re better off doing your homework in advance.
Whether you’re doing a remodel yourself to save money, or just because you have a do-it-yourself spirit and like new challenges, these tips will spare you many headaches and save you a lot of money along the way.
1. Inaccurate measurements
Unless you’re a carpenter or engineer, odds are you don’t use measuring tools on a daily basis. To ensure that you get the most accurate measurements, draw plans for your remodeling project to ensure that everything will fit in the space that you have. This includes measuring for the spaces you’ll be putting appliances, cabinets, and other items. If you’re installing drawers or doors, ensure that they will be able to open fully.
2. Using the cheapest materials
Sometimes you can find high-quality materials in the bargain bin. But most of the time it’s there for a reason. Working with quality materials will not only usually give you the most aesthetically positive results, but will also likely outlast the cheaper alternatives.
3. Underestimating costs
If you’re planning a remodeling project always be prepared to spend a bit more than your original calculations. There are several unexpected expenses that could arise during the remodeling process, including damaging materials by mistake, buying the wrong materials, having to purchase specialized tools, or needing more than you initially thought.
4. Not taking appropriate safety measures
If you’re a novice remodeler, safety needs to be one of your top priorities. You may be unfamiliar with some of the tools you’re using and likely don’t know some of the common safety hazards on the job. When it comes to electrical work, there are many projects that required a licensed electrician to perform. If you’re up on a ladder, be sure the legs are fully opened and secure. And if you’re on the roof, make sure you’re wearing non-slip boots and not carrying heavy items up and down by yourself.
5. Ignoring design and style
In today’s world of quickly fading trends and online inspiration blogs it’s easy to want your home to be several things that it isn’t. When planning your interiors, try to take into account the architectural style of the house. Similarly, if you’re remodeling one room think about how it will look against the backdrop of the rest of your home. Consistency is a too-often undervalued characteristic of interior design.
Those are five of the most common home remodeling mistakes to avoid if you’re planning a renovation for your home. However, there are many more. So if you take away anything from this article, let it be this: you have to look at your home every day, so be sure to take the time to do your research and plan properly so that your home comes out just the way you want it.
Disorganization habits start early. As a kid, you may have tossed clothes across the back of the sofa or across the foot of your bed. Back then, your mom picked up after you. When you forgot where you put your house keys, a sibling helped you find them or told you were you last left your keys. Being disorganized didn't change the way you thought about your childhood home. That's changed.
Being disorganized comes at a high price
Now that you're grown and have moved into your own house, hardly a day goes by when you don't complain about lack of space. The layout of your house isn't the reason why you're feeling cramped when you rush through your house early in the morning, just before you retire to bed or on busy weekends.
Lack of organization is robbing you of space. Pile enough clothes up in a corner of your room, closest or basement and you could lose a quarter or more floor space in the room. As your family grows or you move your work from the office to home, you might think that the only way to get the extra space that you need is to buy a larger, more expensive house.
That's just one way that disorganization can cost you money. Other financial costs associated with being disorganized include unpaid bills, late fees, fatigue and frustration. Concerning the financial costs, disorganization can cost you by:
- Causing you to misplace invoices. If you don't find invoices within the general 30 day limit, you might be responsible for late fees and penalties.
- Give utility companies authority to turn off your heat or air conditioning if you pay bills beyond the grace period because you forgot to pay the bills after you lost the invoices.
- Lowering your credit rating (again, those late payments due to lost invoices)
- Buying clothes, office supplies, toys and shoes twice (because you couldn't find them in a disorganized space and forgot you already had them)
The financial damage is bad enough. But, loss of personal energy is even worse. It could take you 15 to 20 extra minutes to get ready and rush out the door for work in the mornings if you're disorganized. You'd be in the habit of searching and hunting for things.
You probably don't want to. But, the rushing and searching could frustrate you. Let frustration combine with impatience and you might shout at your spouse or kids. You might start to tear at your relationships.
Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot of work to get organized. Start by clearing out closets and the basement. Fill large, moving boxes with clothes, shoes, toys and other items that you don't use. Get clear, plastic storage containers. Place shoes, supplies and toys that you plan to keep inside these storage containers.
Keep going until you can see most, if not all, of your floor space. To do this, you may need to move chairs and the sofa close to walls, away from the middle of the floor. Also, get in the habit of cleaning your home weekly. Stay away from buying items that you won't use, that will only cramp your space.