James A. Wood's Blog
- Install a pegboard. Hang your belts, sunglasses and other accessories in your bedroom closet thanks to a pegboard.
- Take advantage of shoe shelves.
- Set up a mirror.
- Use shelf dividers.
- Get rid of clutter.
No one likes to be alone all the time. Fear of being alone is what keeps some people from moving out of their parents’ house. It’s also why some people refuse to move out of an apartment. Although neighbors may change more frequently at an apartment complex, there’s always someone nearby.
It can be comforting to know that as soon as you exit your apartment, there’s a good chance that you’ll have someone to talk with about the latest sports game, hit song or popular movie. When you live in an apartment, you may also run into more people who share the same hobby or passion that you love.
You don’t have to feel alone just because you live on your own
Loneliness may have absolutely nothing to do with preferring apartment living or staying at home with family. It could be a strong appreciation for people that’s behind the pull to stay near others. If this sounds like you and you do want to own a house of your own, there are housing options that accommodate your make-up.
You could move into a communal home. Before you take this move, get to know the other tenants. Also, find out what the legal ownership agreements are. It’s important that you feel comfortable with each person living at the house. Really think this option over, especially if you have children. Some people love living in a communal home. If you stay at hostels when you travel abroad, this might be a good option for you.
Another option is to buy a house with a friend or a relative. For example, if you have a sibling or a cousin who you trust and are close with, you could buy a house with this person. Make sure that the person you sign a mortgage with has steady employment, is responsible for herself and respects your space. Because they are a relative, you already know many of the people who are close to the person, eliminating the need to get acquainted with strangers.
If you do buy a house by yourself, a row house could do wonders. Row houses are attached homes that offer an apartment feel. You may not hear your neighbors from inside your home. Plus, when you step on your front or back porch, you can chat with your neighbors without having to cross the yard. What you probably won’t have is a large front of back yard.
Condos and mobile homes are other properties that can keep you from feeling like an island. As with any house, look for a condo or mobile home that is near shops,businesses, entertainment, worship centers and other facilities that you use regularly. After all, you don’t only want to live in a house that’s close to other people, you want to live in a community that puts you near the very things that you love.
To truly feel connected to others, get out and meet your neighbors. Make speaking with your neighbors a habit. You could even start a neighborhood block party. Who knows? One of your neighbors could become a life long best friend.
Buying a home is a complicated process with a lot of opportunities to make costly mistakes. There’s no high school class to prepare you for buying a home but there probably should be. If you’re a first time homebuyer and you came across this article looking for advice, congratulations--you’re already doing the most important thing you can when making a big financial decision: the research.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes that first time homebuyers make when entering the real estate market. We’ll break it down by the three main phases of home-buying: saving for a home, hunting for a home, and signing a mortgage.
Saving for a home
One of the first lessons that all first time homeowners quickly learn is that being able to afford your monthly mortgage payments doesn’t mean you can afford a home. Many first time buyers are often coming from living situations where certain utilities are included (water, heat, electricity, etc.). Aside from those obvious expenses, there are also things like property tax and home insurance to budget for, both of which may increase. Finally, when you’re living in an apartment and your faucet breaks, you simply call the landlord. When you own a home, especially an older home, be prepared to spend on repairs and to start learning basic maintenance skills that will save you money.
The hunt for your first home
Now that you’re aware of the costs, it might be tempting to jump in and start looking at homes. Another common mistake first time homebuyers make is to waste time looking at homes before they’ve met with a real estate agent or have gotten pre-approved for a loan. Start there, then once you know the scope of your home search, you’ll have a much more relaxing hunt for your new home.
Another mistake that first time homebuyers make is to underestimate the time and commitment it takes to find a home. When you work with a real estate agent, make sure you are available at all times. Keep your phone nearby, stick to your schedule for viewing homes, and keep a list of each home you’re considering. Showing initiative and dedication won’t just help you stay organized, it will also show your agent and the home seller that you are worth their time.
One of the most common mistakes that buyers make when it comes to their mortgage is to fail to shop around for a lender. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that only half of all buyers considered more than one lender for their home.
Buyers, first time and repeat, often think their credit report is set in stone. What they don’t realize is that the three main credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) can all make mistakes on your credit. Check your detailed credit reports and fix any errors long before applying for a mortgage to increase your chances of getting a good rate.
If you avoid these common mistakes and continue to do your research along the way, you should be able to save yourself some headaches and some money in the long term.
Whether you're raising a family or getting ready to retire, there are a lot of desirable cities in the state of Florida that are worth considering for your next home.
Depending on your priorities, age, and lifestyle goals, different parts of Florida can offer the features and environments you're looking for -- everything from bustling urban settings to communities with a small-town ambiance.
Whatever mental picture you may have of Florida, right now, you'll discover that it's a vibrant state that's characterized by immense variety, diversity, and an overall high standard of living.
U.S. News & World Report publishes an analysis of some of the best places to live, every year, and has included nine Florida cities on its 2017 list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the USA. Since this list focuses on metropolitan areas -- as opposed to rural or other sparsely populated communities -- it's probably more useful to people interested in living in or near a medium-to-large size city.
However, if you want the best of both worlds, there's always the option of buying real estate in a quiet, less populated suburb that's within a relatively short drive to good jobs, entertainment, cultural venues, and recreation. An experienced Florida real estate agent will have the knowledge and ideas to help you find a new home that meets your criteria, budget, and lifestyle. So while there are plenty of nice houses, condos, and neighborhoods within a short walk to the ocean, there are also many inland properties that could prove to be an excellent match to your goals and requirements.
The Best Places to Live list is compiled using a variety of data, including "resident satisfaction" surveys, information on average commute time, and the strength of each city's job market. Other quality-of-life issues are also factored into the rankings, including crime rates, availability of quality health care, and educational standards at local high schools. One of several key elements in the rankings is a composite score from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. This data reflects the overall level of happiness residents derive from their day-to-day lives. If you're wondering what makes people happy in a particular location, the survey addresses that question by looking at a variety of influences and factors, such as people's financial health, degree of social interaction, community involvement, sense of purpose, and physical wellbeing. Other key elements used to rank the different cities include the annual cost of living for area homeowners, median household income, and how much population growth is occurring in each city.
While those nine cities listed in the report are not the only worthwhile metropolitan areas in Florida, the list can be a helpful starting point in narrowing down desirable areas for raising a family, building a career, or pursuing a retirement lifestyle.
Taking ownership of an older house could save you thousands of dollars. In fact,ticket prices on houses built during the 1940s are generally half the ticket price on modern homes. Think of buying an older house the way that you approach buying a used car. As with a used car, because the house has experienced wear and tear, you won’t be asked to pay top dollar to move into the home.
Age could provide you significant cost savings
Pick an older home that’s not located in an area that’s overseen by a homeowners association and you could save thousands of dollars a year. Other ways that buying an older house could save you thousands of dollars are in structural maintenance costs.
Houses built around World War II were built to endure hard blasts. Punch a wall in a house that was built during the 1940s and you could break your hand. On the other hand, you could tear a hole in a house built during the 1980s or later if you accidentally jam the end of a broom handle against the wall.
Walls of houses built in the 1940s were made of cement. Modern homes may be constructed with fiberboard or plasterboard panels. Fiberboard and plasterboard are thinner than cement walls. You may have heard a relative or friend refer to the walls as being “paper thin”.
As a note of caution, get walls of older houses you’re thinking of buying inspected. Many walls in houses built during the 1940s were made with asbestos cement. To save money on an older home also ensure that the house is well ventilated.
Making the most out of buying older houses
If you don’t, you could buy a house that, although durable, is not well insulated or ventilated.Poor ventilation can cause a house to feel uncomfortably warm during summer months and far too cool when it gets cold outside. Also, make sure that the older house you want to buy has central air conditioning.
Of course,if you spend a lot of time outdoors, central air may not be a priority. To keep your older home cool during summer without turning on central air, close the doors to rooms that you are not using. Place chairs and sofas near windows and vents. And use window air conditioners and efficient floor fans.
You may love the privacy that you’ll gain with an older home, as older houses are generally not designed with open floor plans. Each room may have a separate archway or door. Houses in older neighborhoods tend to have a similar floor plan.Depending on when you grew up, you may recall how your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents homes’ were laid out the same.
After you get an older house that you want to buy inspected, you can always modernize the home. For example, you could install solar panels in the house. Upgrade the insulation and knock down walls and create an open floor plan to give the home a more spacious look and feel.