Real Estate Guide Real Estate Guide Copyright by en Wed, 14 Nov 2018 05:51:58 -0500 Fixing Your Front Lawn Before Selling Your Home  

 Curb appeal - you’ve heard the term before with regards to real estate. It means how your home looks from the street. If your property is attractive, with good style and obvious upkeep, it has good curb appeal - but if your front yard is dry and dead and the house is crumbling at the seams, its curb appeal is poor, and not a single buyer will step foot inside.

However, if you just repainted, bought all-new exterior fixtures and otherwise shored up your curb appeal, you still might be turning off buyers with an unhealthy front lawn. Buyers want to know they aren’t inheriting your old lawn problems, like fungus or grubs, so they look for thick, verdant grass at every property they visit. If you are struggling to make your grass as green as it can be, read on for tips and tricks for fixing your front lawn fast.

Is It the Season?

Most lawns go dormant in the cold season, meaning they look brown, crunchy and dead, but they aren’t. If you remember your lawn being green this summer and you expect your lawn to be green again in spring, you shouldn’t worry too much what it looks like now, during the winter. At this time of the year, buyers are more forgiving of how yards look; they understand that you can’t produce bright summer blooms when it is actively snowing. If it doesn’t snow in your area, you can consider sprinkling seed for cold-season grasses over your lawn to provide a pop of green color for your buyers. Then, if your house is still on the market when the weather warms up, you should make sure your regular lawn looks its best with proper care.

Is It the Water?

Lawns need about an inch and a half of water per week, even during the winter. If you have a sprinkler system in place, you might think your lawn is getting enough water, but you should check to be sure. Set small containers - like empty tuna cans or comparably sized Tupperware - on several spots around your lawn. After your sprinklers are set to shut off, go out and check the water levels in your containers. They should all be roughly equal, and one container’s contents should add up to an inch and a half over the course of the week. If you find that several spaces on your lawn aren’t getting any water, you might need professional sprinkler repair and maintenance before you can fix your lawn in other ways.

Is It Use?

There is a reason so many parks and professional spaces have “Don’t walk on the grass” signs: Your lawn doesn’t like it when you stomp all over it. Though you should feel okay using your lawn for occasional play - like football on Thanksgiving or the occasional summer barbecue - you should avoid walking on it every day, especially in the same path. Doing this compacts the soil around the grass’s roots, preventing them from breathing and growing properly. To counteract this, you should aerate your lawn, especially in the most compacted areas, and consider installing a hardscaped path across the lawn if necessary.

Is It Pests?

You love your lawn - why wouldn’t bugs? In truth, your lawn is an ecosystem filled with creepy-crawlies, but some bugs do irreparable damage from the moment they touch down. Though at first glance pest damage looks like any other dried or dead lawn, if you look close, you should be able to see clear signs of pests: worms and grubs in the soil, lacey blades, an overabundance of moths, etc. Spraying the right kind of pesticide on your grass can help, but you might need to fertilize or seed the dead portions to grow them back fast.

Is It Disease?

Another difficult-to-detect lawn problem is disease. Your lawn can contract a disease the same way you do: by coming into contact with harmful spores and pathogens. As with pests, it’s easy to dismiss a diseased lawn as dying for some other reason, but there are patterns to different diseases. If you can find white spots on the blades, a pinkish or grayish tinge, circular bare patches or some other fishy-looking issue, you are probably dealing with a lawn disease. It is best to call a professional to diagnose your precise problem and administer treatment.

You want to fix your lawn fast so you can sell your home fast - it makes sense. If you take the above knowledge and apply it to your lawn care, you should be growing a thick, green lawn in no time, which means buyers will be lining up at your door.

Guide Editor Mon, 05 Nov 2018 21:48:15 -0500
What could be eating the food in your pantry? If you have been finding that there is a lot less food in your pantry than you would expect, you should not necessarily blame your kids. Uninvited guests could be the culprits. Pests often take a liking to food they found in the homes that they invade.

If you suspect that pests like ants, flies or rodents have got into your home, you need to find out more about pest control as soon as possible. If you do not take immediate action, the problem is only going to get worse.

What sort of pests could be eating your food?

There are many different pests that can make their way into a home and help themselves to pantry items such as breakfast cereals, pasta and rice. In addition to ants, flies and rodents, you may find that you have beetles, moths and spiders for housemates, amongst others.

It’s important to remember that losing some food from your pantry could be the least of your worries. Depending on the type of pests you have a problem with, you could face several issues including:

  • Droppings and urine that can cause breathing problems such as asthma to worsen.
  • Chewed wooden structures.
  • Chewed electrical wiring.
  • Bites and stings to people living in your home.
  • The spread of bacteria and germs causing illnesses such as salmonella.

You can see why it’s so important to deal with a pest problem as quickly as possible.

How to get rid of the pests in your home

If you discover that pests have been eating the food in your pantry, you should get rid of any affected food straight away. You should also thoroughly clean and disinfect the pantry. Once you have done this, you can take other DIY measures to try and control the problem such as:

  • Setting mouse traps where you see signs of the presence of mice such as urine, droppings or chewing of wires.
  • Using a soap and water solution to spray pests such as flies and ants.
  • Spreading Diatomaceous Earth around your home to kill insects.
  • Using nematodes (microscopic worms) to kill termites.
  • Filling in gaps and cracks in the walls of your property, so that pests can no longer gain entry.
  • Fixing leaks and dealing with damp issues so that pests do not have access to water.
  • Making sure that the pantry and kitchen in your home are kept clear of food debris, removing a potential source of food for pests.

Taking all of these actions can help to relive a pest problem in your home. However, infestations are often best dealt with by seeking help from professionals; click here to find out more.

If your pantry stock is depleting, you may be able to solve the issue by identifying a pest problem and getting professional help to rid your home of these pests. In doing so, you an also save yourself from a lot of expensive repairs necessitated by damage caused by the invaders.

Guide Editor Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:23:16 -0400
What could be eating the food in your pantry? If you have been finding that there is a lot less food in your pantry than you would expect, you should not necessarily blame your kids. Uninvited guests could be the culprits. Pests often take a liking to food they found in the homes that they invade.

If you suspect that pests like ants, flies or rodents have got into your home, you need to find out more about pest control as soon as possible. If you do not take immediate action, the problem is only going to get worse.

What sort of pests could be eating your food?

There are many different pests that can make their way into a home and help themselves to pantry items such as breakfast cereals, pasta and rice. In addition to ants, flies and rodents, you may find that you have beetles, moths and spiders for housemates, amongst others.

It’s important to remember that losing some food from your pantry could be the least of your worries. Depending on the type of pests you have a problem with, you could face several issues including:

  • Droppings and urine that can cause breathing problems such as asthma to worsen.
  • Chewed wooden structures.
  • Chewed electrical wiring.
  • Bites and stings to people living in your home.
  • The spread of bacteria and germs causing illnesses such as salmonella.

You can see why it’s so important to deal with a pest problem as quickly as possible.

How to get rid of the pests in your home

If you discover that pests have been eating the food in your pantry, you should get rid of any affected food straight away. You should also thoroughly clean and disinfect the pantry. Once you have done this, you can take other DIY measures to try and control the problem such as:

  • Setting mouse traps where you see signs of the presence of mice such as urine, droppings or chewing of wires.
  • Using a soap and water solution to spray pests such as flies and ants.
  • Spreading Diatomaceous Earth around your home to kill insects.
  • Using nematodes (microscopic worms) to kill termites.
  • Filling in gaps and cracks in the walls of your property, so that pests can no longer gain entry.
  • Fixing leaks and dealing with damp issues so that pests do not have access to water.
  • Making sure that the pantry and kitchen in your home are kept clear of food debris, removing a potential source of food for pests.

Taking all of these actions can help to relive a pest problem in your home. However, infestations are often best dealt with by seeking help from professionals; click here to find out more.

If your pantry stock is depleting, you may be able to solve the issue by identifying a pest problem and getting professional help to rid your home of these pests. In doing so, you an also save yourself from a lot of expensive repairs necessitated by damage caused by the invaders.

Guide Editor Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:15:21 -0400
How To Find A Profitable Investment Property

Finding a good investment property in the Fort Lauderdale area requires many steps, and you need to be certain that you have thought about what you can do to get the most money out of each property.  You could have the property become a rental, or it could be a house that you flip.  You might purchase an office building, or you could buy a warehouse that will become another rental space for local businesses.  Decide what the best option is for you while you begin to look at listings around the area.

  1. Learn How To Assess Properties

You will learn from BREIA of Fort Lauderdale and similar places how to assess properties.  You might want to have a checklist that you can use, and you will check off boxes on that list as you decide what will make the property valuable.  You will use these tips to assess properties using the tips listed below, and you will use that education to take the eyeball test on each of these new properties.

  1. Who Will Buy Or Rent The Location?

You must decide who will rent this location, and you will notice that you could use the location as a warehouse for another business, flip the property to sell, turn the house into a duplex, or start renting office space.  You might rent retail space, or you could sell your space as a vacation timeshare.  It all depends on what is best for you, and you could look into many options for renting or buying.  Choose the most profitable arrangement you can find.

  1. Location

You have to get properties that are in good locations.  The properties that sit in bad places are extremely hard for you to sell or rent because no one wants to be there.  You have to have a look at places around the area that will be safe for your buyers or renters, and you could look at spots that have a lot of different things in the area that make it more fun to be there.  You also need to check the location in terms of phone and Internet availability because your tenants might need these services.

  1. The Price

You can negotiate the price as much as you want, and you might get a much better price from the seller if you have worn them down.  Some of them will be happy to sell to anyone who is willing to pay something even close to their asking price, and you must work with each person to get a deal you really want.

  1. Hire A Manager

You should hire a manager if you are planning to rent your property.  You need someone who can help you take care of the property, and they will collect rent along with handling maintenance and talking to tenants.

You can make your property much more profitable if you have used all the steps above, and you must learn how to assess properties so that you know what you are looking at.  These few tips make it much easier for you to get into real estate investment the right way.

Guide Editor Mon, 15 Oct 2018 02:20:19 -0400
5 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Tenants for Your Rental Property   Choosing the right tenants can be an overwhelming and confusing process for many landlords. It's kind of like you're a hiring boss, and you're interviewing a slew of candidates, hoping to find the perfect fit for your job opening. The difference is, if it doesn't work out in a job setting, you can easily part ways. When you're a landlord, getting rid of a bad tenant can be a tedious and time-consuming process. That's why it's important to find the right fit before you sign the lease.

But, how do you find the right tenants for your rental property? This article will guide you through the process, helping you find quality, long-term tenants that make the job of being a landlord rewarding.

  1. Know Your Neighborhoods

What kind of tenants are you trying to attract? By being able to answer this question, you'll be able to speak to your property in a way that's enticing for your ideal renters.

If you're targeting families, be ready to talk about the surrounding amenities that family life has to offer, the fact that there are plenty of attractions around, and the activities other families in the area enjoy doing.

If you're trying to attract Millennials, think about things they might like. Are there great coffee shops around? Is your property within walking distance of great restaurants and weekend activities?

Remember, your ideal tenants are searching for their ideal rental, so they'll be looking for the kinds of keywords associated with the answers to these questions.

  1. Run a Credit Check

It's not enough for someone to simply tell you they can pay the rent; you need to see that for yourself. By running a credit check, you'll be able to identify red flags far in advance of problems you might run into if they become your renter, such as:

  • This isn't always a deal-breaker, but if an applicant has a bankruptcy on his or her credit history, it's certainly something to be aware of.
  • Debt-to-Credit Ratio.An applicant could make $100,000 a year, but if they have $95,000 in debt, they don't have much left over to pay the rent. On the other hand, an applicant might only make $30,000 a year, but if they don't have debt, they're a better candidate.

During this step, you'll also want to verify income by obtaining recent pay stubsand monthly earnings. You will also want to speak with their previous landlord to see if they paid their rent on time and to make sure the kept the property in good condition. It's best to find a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the rent you're asking for.

  1. Run a Criminal Background Check

This is another step that'll help you identify potential problems well in advance of dealing with them as their landlord. Be mindful of the laws, however. Some states require you to obtain written permission before you run a background check. Some states also prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with certain criminal convictions.

  1. Contact References

Don't just take your applicants' words for it that their references are great; get proof, then get on the phone. You can also request references from former neighbors. Have your questions ready before you hop on the calls, so you can jot down answers.

  • Did the tenant pay on time?
  • Did others complain about this person?
  • Did this person voice excessive complaints to you?
  • Did they give proper notice before moving out?
  • Did they tell you why they're moving out?
  • Was there any damage or excessive dirtiness to the property when they left?
  1. Hire a Property Management Company

A lot of landlords don't realize they can hire a property management company to take care of these details. Not only will property management firms take care of the advertising, screening, and lease preparations, but they'll deal with the day-to-day tasks associated with ongoing tenant/landlord relationships. They offer peace of mind and a plethora of specific experience.

Being a landlord isn't necessarily easy, and there are plenty of things that could go wrong, but if you put the proper plans in place from the very beginning, you and your tenants can enjoy a long and happy relationship together.

Guide Editor Tue, 02 Oct 2018 22:51:30 -0400
Where to Eat in Montreal's Rosemont Neighborhood Those who are moving into the newly available condos in Rosemont may have chosen the neighborhood for its proximity to their workplace, but there’s another good reason to live here. You have plenty of excellent restaurants to try out and patronize.

The neighborhood seems to have absorbed the various culinary personalities of its surrounding neighborhoods. It does save you the trouble of driving to another area when you can walk to a nearby restaurant to enjoy bodacious brunches, terrific Haitian fare, or French cuisine.


It’s easy enough to realize that the brunches are terrific here, as there are literally long lines on weekends for the brunches they serve. You can get a multi-level plate with an assortment of their homemade pastries and spreads, or you can try the Oeuf & Boeuf beef cheek cooked for 8 hours in molasse, with Panko egg and grilled focaccia. Another popular option is the trout gravlax cured in Jägermeister.

But just in case you didn’t know, here’s a tip: these brunches are available on weekdays as well.

La Boulette

This place is famous for offering upscale comfort food before the rest of the city caught on to the trend of offering high-quality burgers and tartares. The place focuses on fresh produce from local sources, and they get their buns from the superb bakery Arhoma. Of all the burger spots in the city, La Boulette has perhaps the ritziest wine list full of private imports.

Sandwicherie Sue

Rosemont is fairly well-known for the numerous locations with fantastic sandwiches, and Sandwicherie Sue is a great example. You’ll find exciting versions of the Vietnamese sandwich banh mi, along with sandwiches with sautéed Chinese eggplants or fresh shiitake mushrooms.

Zytynsky’s Deli

This is another place where you can find excellent sandwiches. It’s actually a landmark establishment in the neighborhood, as it was founded by a Ukrainian sausage maker about a hundred years ago. Now the 3rd generation of that family is still running the place, and you have a sandwich counter by the deli and grocery store where you can sample the hand-smoked Ukrainian style charcuterie right away.


This is a bit of an eccentric place because for some reason the people behind Akwaba think it’s okay to combine African cuisine with Greek dishes in the very same menu. But somehow, it all works fine when you try the moussaka and the mafe peanut stew. You should also try the Choukouya with its spiced, braised meat.

Une Nuit à Bangkok

Some fans of Une Nuit à Bangkok think that this is actually the best Thai restaurant in the entire city. The quality of the menu items is superb, even if the number of selections here isn’t as high as what you may find in other Thai places elsewhere. For Une Nuit à Bangkok, it’s the quality and not the quantity that counts and they’ve concentrated in perfecting their curry, noodle, and soup dishes. Your first visit here will be like One Night in Bangkok.

Détour Bistro

Why go to Hochelaga for some French cuisine when you have Détour Bistro right here in Rosemont? The quality of the food here can compare with the rest of the city when it comes to their profiteroles, garlic escargot, and tartare.

Chez Toutou

Are you in the mood for Haitian fare? Come here to Chez Toutou where they serve you their spiced fired meat called griot along with lots of rice and plantains. These people don’t make a fuss—they let the food speak for themselves.

Casa Vinho

This Portuguese restaurant will provide you with all the hallmarks of Portuguese cuisine. You’ll find rotisserie chicken and pork fillet in porto sauce, along with a wide variety of seafood including grilled octopus.

Guide Editor Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:15:09 -0400
How to Save Big Money With Small Home Maintenance Tasks

Here’s just a short list of the expenses new homeowners incur when they purchase their first property:

  • Inspection fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Brokerage fees
  • Processing fees
  • Underwriting fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Title insurance fees
  • Homeowners’ insurance fees
  • Signing fees
  • Recording fees
  • Property taxes
  • Moving expenses

Even the least expensive home in the cheapest corner of the country demands thousands of dollars to acquire - and then homeowners are expected to have money left over for home maintenance. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs on home maintenance without endangering the investment. Here are a few of the most significant ways homeowners can reduce their maintenance expenses today.

Get a Home Warranty

If your home tastes tend toward the old and charming, you will likely need to perform more maintenance on your home than most. You might expect that to mean either you need to be exceedingly skilled in the handyman arts or you need to have enough money to pay a professional to do your fixes for you. Fortunately, there is a secret third option: acquiring a home warranty.

Home warranties split the difference between doing every home maintenance task yourself and hiring a contractor for every little thing. With a home warranty, you pay a monthly fee to protect the complex and integral systems around your home, like your large appliances, plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Should one of these systems break down, your warranty provider will send a professional to repair or replace the system as necessary. You will pay a small service fee for each visit, but that will be dramatically less than the full cost you would otherwise incur.

Home warranty programs vary, so it is imperative that you shop around to find the plan that fits your home and your maintenance needs. You should talk to warranty providers, read online reviews and consult with realtors to get the best deal. Then, you should focus your energies on smaller maintenance tasks to prevent the development of larger, costlier problems around your home.

Change Air Filters on Schedule

Your HVAC sucks air from your home, cools or heats it and then blows it back into your rooms and hallways. To prevent dust and debris from settling inside the machines and vents, your HVAC has a filter installed over the intake, so the filter will catch all that dust and debris first.

As you might expect, your filter will get congested with junk over time, forcing your HVAC to work harder to pull in an adequate amount of air. Thus, to keep your HVAC working optimally, you need to replace your air filters regularly. Experts say you should religiously install new filters every three months — every month if you have pets and/or bad allergies. If you want to avoid the expense of purchasing brand-new filters this often, you can invest in reusable filters that you clean and reinstall.

Test Smoke Alarms

Here’s a scenario: You wake up at 2 A.M. to a piercing beep; then, at 3 A.M., and at 4 A.M., the beep sounds again and again all night long, preventing your beauty sleep. It’s your smoke detector, telling you its batteries are dead.

Here’s a worse scenario: You sleep soundly as the odorless carbon monoxide seeps into your room. Without waking, first your pets by your bed expire, and then you pass into oblivion, all without waking. Your smoke alarm should have notified you of this toxic gas, but you never checked to see if it was working properly.

To avoid the first scene, you can hardwire your smoke alarms into your home’s electrical system, preventing the need for regular battery changes. Then, once per month, you should press the “test” button on each device in your home to ensure they are all working properly.

Clean Behind Appliances

You might knock the frost of your freezer’s shelves every so often or clean the lint trap in the dryer whenever you do laundry, but you should be doing more to improve your appliances’ efficiency and prevent excessive damage to your home.

Though it is undoubtedly laborious, you should pull your appliances away from the wall and clear out all the dust and debris accumulated underneath and behind them. Doing this reduces the risk of fire by taking away highly flammable material resting near heating elements and electrical outlets. Additionally, dust and debris often makes appliances work harder to heat, cool or perform the task they are intended to do. Plus, this chore eliminates dirt and grime that could clog your air filters or exacerbate allergies. It is a win-win-win that you shouldn’t ignore.

Guide Editor Wed, 22 Aug 2018 21:07:49 -0400
5 Simple Steps To Find An Affordable Moving Company When you are thinking of relocating to a new home, you will have to hire professional movers to help you out. Searching for the best company that suits your needs can be quite time-consuming and challenging. However, with the right business, you will have an easier moving process. One thing you do not need is a company that charges a lot of money for services rendered. Here are tips to help you get a company you can afford.

Seek a company early

Even if you are moving in a few months, it is best to start looking for a moving company right away. When you have adequate time at hand, you will have more choices, which will help you make the right decision. Furthermore, booking early can earn you a price discount, which can save you lots of money in the long run.

Compare quotes

Take time to get quotes from different companies and compare and contrast them. This will help you to know the labor or services provided, and the overall cost of moving. Even if you feel like choosing the cheapest company, you need to get reasons why their price estimates seem lower than the rest. There may be some hidden charges that are not included in the quote. Make sure that the company provides additional information and clarification.

Seek reliable recommendations

The best way of finding a reliable and inexpensive moving company is by inquiring from people who have used these services before. Ask people you know; closest friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members. These people will tell you about their experiences and the companies that you can hire to save several bucks. With the right recommendations, you will know the most reliable and affordable West Palm Beach moving companies.

Read genuine moving reviews

You can locate cheap and good movers by reading reviews and personal testimonials on the internet. Many consumers love writing reviews and testimonials about their experiences with moving companies. You can check out moving websites or forums and get recommendations from other consumers. This way, you will know what to expect from your preferred moving partners with regard to reliability, professionalism, and affordability. 


You should never be afraid of negotiating a lower price with moving companies. The price of relocating is never fixed and will depend on different factors such as total cargo weight, relocation distance, time, season, and many more. Remember that movers will want to lock you in with affordable prices so that you are not tempted to go elsewhere. Negotiate by asking for discounts such as a first-time client, a student, or more, and you may end up getting the price you want.

If the moving company provides in-house surveys, then you should request a few to come to your home and give you an exact cost of moving. This is a much better and affordable solution because most price estimates offered through e-mail or over the phone tend to be inaccurate, and they may have additional costs that you may not determine at that moment. When professionals come to your home, you will avoid any surprise costs because they will analyze everything and even any challenges they may face.

Guide Editor Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:46:43 -0400
Why Have Sydney's Auction Clearance Rates Been Falling? Auction clearance levels in Sydney are the lowest that they’ve been in years. The clearance rates in 2015 fell to 73% and many people called it a drop in the property prices for Sydney. This was contrasted by a preceding decade of growth recorded by the Australia price index.

In 2017 the rates for Sydney’s auctions started to reach 50-60% and if auction clearance rates reached 70%,it was a blessing. For the duration of most preceding years, the auction rates reached were more than 70% but in 2017, these average levels fell by nearly 10-20%.

There must be a few reasons for this, lets, find out what they are.

Policies Implemented by APRA

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is an organization responsible for overseeing the mortgage industry in Australia. This means all its policies have a direct impact on Australia’s property market.

Focus Away from Investors in 2015

The 2015 fall in auction clearance rates was tied in with APRA’s policies. Investors were given more loans in preceding years by lenders. It was these investors that APRA sought to curb. Lenders were told by APRA divert their efforts to residential borrowers.

The implementation of the policy meant that investors looked away from Sydney as a lucrative investment market. It became increasingly difficult for investors to secure financing to purchase properties in 2015. This lead to a decline in Sydney’s auction clearance rates throughout the year.

APRA wanted to deal with increased housing prices with the policy but that did not happen as Sydney’s housing prices continued to increase throughout 2015.

Restricting Interest Only Loans in 2017

In 2017, APRA’s policies were different and seemed to counter interest only loans. Investors looking to invest through, and other auction sites, prefer these kinds of loans. That’s because they offer tax deductions and considerably lower monthly costs.

APRA restricted loan applications of this kind to just 30%. This again meant investors were discouraged to attend auctions, because of lack of financing options.

Both of these policies by APRA caused a restriction for investors to get financing for properties. They ended up missing out auctions and that resulted in the lower auction clearance rates after each policy was implemented. But that wasn’t the only reason.

First Time Buyers

APRA’s policies should have made it easy for first time home buyers as the FHOG (First Home Owner’s Grant) provides much needed financial assistance to buyers and stamp duty exemptions would have provided even more support.

But the increasing trend of housing prices from 2011 to 2016 (almost 70%), has affected first time home buyers more and APRA’s policies have provided little help. The national average of housing prices was around $680,000. Sydney’s most affordable houses are more than this national average.

The average housing price for the region stands at over $1 million. This is too much for a first-time buyer to begin with. The increases in housing prices are slowing down in recent times but the damage has occurred in the past three years.

The buyers have to save more to afford down payments, and this is not good considering that they are the supposed replacements for the investors that have taken their money elsewhere.

Guide Editor Mon, 09 Jul 2018 02:03:21 -0400
3 of the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Iowa With Iowa ranked as one of the safest states to live in the US, it is proving attractive to residents and businesses alike.  Along with the low cost of living and low house prices, it tops the list for many people looking to move away from their home states.  However, with 947 cities to choose from, it can prove nearly impossible to choose the right place to call your next home.  To help you along, we have chosen three of the best cities in Iowa which you would be wise to check out:

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Sioux Center

Listed as the safest city in Iowa, Sioux Center makes it to the top spot in this list.  It is relatively small with a population of only around 7000 but this is slowly increasing as the city becomes more popular with young people.  In fact, only 14.5% of the population are aged 65 or over.  The average household income is around $66,000 and the average house price here is $183,000, so if you are just starting out on the property ladder, it can make sense to first look at renting an apartment before you commit to making a sale.  Sioux Center also has the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Iowa which makes it the perfect place to work and settle down if you are looking for stability.  Sioux Center also has a low crime rate making it attractive to couples looking to start a family.


Situated along the Mississippi River to the East of Iowa lies Davenport, which was actually named as the most livable small city in America in 2007.  A large city with a population of around 99,000, Davenport offers its residents two universities, over 50 parks, and two major US highways.  There are plenty of public and private schools to choose from for families moving into the area and young professionals have the opportunity to commute to work with Davenport’s close proximity to Chicago and Des Moines.  There are also many music festivals held annually providing residents with free entertainment celebrating the different cultures and community coming together.  Davenport apartments are affordable with an average house or condo value estimated at around $126,000 in the year 2016.


Johnston is home to some of the highest earning residents in the whole of Iowa.  Located around Beaver Creek, which flows into Des Moines River, this quiet city proves popular with residents rating it number two in the list of best places to raise a family in Iowa.  However, with the high average earnings comes high house prices and so the average here is nearly $240,000.  Do not let this put you off though, as there are new apartment buildings currently being built to attract buyers from further afield.  Johnston offers eight public schools with some of them ranking top in the state and there are plenty of parks and amenities close by.

Researching the many places Iowa has to offer can prove to be dull and arduous, but the three cities listed above can act as a starting point for anyone looking to move to this popular state.

Guide Editor Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:27:21 -0400
5 Ways to Make Your Property Safer

Tragedy never announces itself before striking, so it’s up to us to prepare accordingly and that holds true for home safety as well. Whether you live in a somewhat secluded area or in a neighborhood that’s not exactly known for its safety, here are five ways to make sure that your property remains as protected as possible, without having to spend a fortune on security.

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Use Chain Link Fencing

Security is just one of the many benefits of chain link fencing, but it’s most certainly one of the major pros. Do make sure that the fencing is at least 6 feet high and the wire used is 9-gauge thick to ensure that it can truly hold up, if the need arises. It won’t give you a lot of privacy of course, but in an isolated region, the see-through nature of the chain link fence will enable you to keep an eye on things outside.

Secure All Entry Points

All entry points to the property need to be properly secured and that includes windows too. Skip the beautiful but fragile glass-and-wood design in favor of stronger stuff like seasoned mahogany or even steel for not just the front door, but all doors that allow entry from the outside. The same advice goes for windows too, so if you don’t mind bars, they are probably your safest option.

Installing a Security System is a Must

A modern home without a security system just doesn’t make any sense at all because even if there are no burglars in your home, the smoke and CO detectors could potentially save your life. There is no shortage of advanced smart home security systems these days, so do invest in one to protect your family from almost all external threats.

Love Thy Neighbour…

When you are not home, burglars will have ample time to get through all your defenses, so your best bet at keeping your home secure while you are not there is to have a few trusted neighbors keep an eye on your property. In case you have just moved in, make the effort to be acquainted with a few of your neighbors because if something does go wrong while you are not there, they will be able to call the police for you.

Put Up Warning Signs

The last thing a burglar wants is to get caught in the act, so just by putting up signs that declare the fact that you have security cameras and alarms installed, is by itself a great way to deter lawbreakers. Sometimes, it is a good idea to put up signs even if you don’t have everything that the sign warns people of, because very few criminals are willing to call the bluff and try out their luck!

These five points are generally enough to keep most properties safe, but just as a bonus tip, remember to hide your valuables from plain sight. Also, install some thick curtains, so that your internal décor remains hidden from prying eyes.

Guide Editor Mon, 11 Jun 2018 22:47:01 -0400
6 Advantages of Hiring a Professional Interior Designer You have to invest quite a bit of money for the interior design of your house, so it is essential that you hire a professional interior designer. In addition to appropriate spending of your budget, there are several vital reasons to hire a professional for the project of your house interiors. In this post, we will discuss those reasons in detail.

1.     Professional Assessment

Though the homeowners have to live in the house with interiors, the professionals have an expert take on the project requirement. Their expert eyes can notice even the unlikely problems that homeowners simply can’t.

They implement a carefully designed action-plan and inform the homeowner in details of every step needed to be taken. This way the homeowners can realize the precise budget, so they can spend more efficiently. It’ll make a positive impact on the overall project.

You can receive this professional assessment beforehand from a service like Advantage Properly Styling, which can be accessed at

2.     Collaboration

A professional interior designer always tries to establish a good relationship with the homeowner, the architect and the contractor involved in the overall project. He can also help tackle any faults in the design. It’s a vital step pertaining to saving time and money. Since they are qualified professionals from interior design institutions, they tend to look into details the homeowner might miss.

3.     Rich Resources

One of the major benefits of hiring a professional interior designer is that he’ll have access to extensive resources for materials at affordable price, which a common person may not find. In addition, they have a wide network of other professionals in the industry, which also proves to be helpful during the project.

4.     Outside of the Box Ideas

The professional interior designers have the capability to think outside of the box. So, they come up with unique ways to improve the house interior to make it extremely charming. In short, they can incorporate the wow factor in your home interior. They can make things look different and artistic easily.

5.     Energy Efficient Home

One of the freshest trends is energy efficient homes. Since the professionals always remain updated with the latest happenings in the industry, they will ensure your home interiors to be energy efficient. To do so, they follow the ideas of environment conservation and go green to make the interiors eco-friendly and energy efficient.

6.     Detail-Oriented

They have a keen eye to notice the details minutely, which is well reflected when they implement interiors. They take a detailed look at the products, giving special importance to functionality and aesthetics. They take due time to research so that they can ensure the best outcomes.

You can make the most of every advantage mentioned above if you ensure hiring a right interior designer. A professional and experienced interior designer has the pure artistic insight, which guarantees the best results of your interior project.

In addition, the interior design theme will last for a long time as professional interior designers work with long-term planning. It’s always sensible that you hire a professional interior designer.

Guide Editor Mon, 16 Apr 2018 02:07:17 -0400
Take Control over Your Rental Property Investment with these Tips Let’s face it, managing your property yourself is not an easy job to do. There are so many things that need to be taken care of that make many people don’t even think about trying to manage their properties themselves. But, is it really so hard to do? Even if you have the right guidance on how you can manage your rental property?

There are a number of landlords in Australia who manage their rental properties themselves, and successfully as well. If you are also thinking about managing your rental property yourself, here are some tips that can come in handy and make it a successful decision. These strategies will help you in keeping the property up and running while also making it a success and help you generate revenue from it as well.

1.         Managing Tenants

The most obvious and immediate task when it comes to managing rental properties is the management of tenants. If you think managing tenants just involves collecting rent from them, think again. There are many other things you will be taking care of as well. These include:

Rent Collection: From setting due dates to the collection of rent and offering grace periods, all comes under this. You will also have to deal with unpaid rent issues and have to decide how to deal with them.

Tenant Screening: From advertising the vacancy to setting up appointments, you will have to take care of all. You will also have to conduct the tenant screening yourself to find out if they are suitable or not.

Lease Agreements: You need to make sure that the lease is up to date and all the legal considerations are taken care of as per the latest laws. These agreements should include all the clauses in written form that are binding on both the parties.

2.         Managing Maintenance and Property Inspections

The management of the property itself is also a major task to be done when you are managing your rental investment yourself. You have to make sure the tenants have an access to all the facilities in the neighbourhood including but not limited to running water, garbage collection etc. You are also responsible to get the yearly maintenance and inspection done to make sure that the property is abiding by the safety and health codes of the area.

3.         Managing the Finances

The next most important thing to take care of is the management of finances. You need to keep a record of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. Here are the finances you need to take care of:

Rent Payments: The collection of rent each month from each tenant

Insurance: The amount of insurance you need to pay for the property

Mortgage Payments: Mortgage payments each month

Taxes: Paying the yearly property tax

Not sure how it all works? You can get some expert advice from Managing your rental property might seem like an overwhelming task, but with the tips mentioned above, you will be able to do it alright.

Guide Editor Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:41:13 -0400
How to Rebuild Your Home After a Hurricane While our President does not believe climate change is real, there is little doubt that last year’s hurricane season was of the most destructive on record. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey lashed the mainland U.S., while territories such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are still recovering from these earlier storms as well as the damage from Maria.

Given this increased activity and the ever-increasing costs of home ownership, it should not come as a surprise that the combined losses from these storms will reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This brings us to the most important fact for those who have had their lives impacted by last year’s hurricanes – rebuilding. As such, this article will go over the ins and outs of how to rebuild your home after a hurricane including everything from property damage assessments to making sure you have the money you need to rebuild.

The Day After

Hurricanes can be trying times. In the days leading up to landfall, the local weather is full of warning and prognostications and then comes the storm itself which feels like the hand of God touching the earth. This often means that we need to hunker down in shelters or even get out of the storm’s path altogether.

However, this does not help us to prepare for the day after. This is when you finally return to your home to see what God hath wrought – just ask Puerto Rico. In some cases, it is just some downed trees and a few days without power.

But for those less fortunate, it could mean tens or even hundreds of thousands in damage from winds, rain, and flooding. In fact, it is the flooding which often worse than the winds and for this reason, many coastal homes are not being forced to raise their foundations by six-feet or more.

Now, it is too late to wait until the day after to check the terms of your insurance policy; however, this is what most people do. Instead, you should try to be proactive by making sure all your insurance information is in a safe place and even check your homeowner’s policy before the storm hits to make sure you know what is covered and what isn’t.

In addition, you will want to have key information, such as your policy number, claims forms, and contact phone numbers handy. This will help you when beginning the claims process as you will probably need to schedule multiple visits with your claims adjuster.

Besides relying on the insurance company, you might want to consider getting a third-party assessment and retaining an advocate to assist you in what is sure to be a long process with your insurance company.

What Comes Next

Now that you have returned home and have made some initial outreach to your insurance company, you want to start the process of seeing what can be recovered. This includes salvaging any item and even making short-term repairs if they can help to protect the integrity of your home.

The reason for this is simple. Even though the storm has passed, you need to protect what is left of your home from other weather events (such as hail), animals, and even robbery.   As such, it is important that you get to your home, protect what you can, and then start to make what repairs you can before waiting for the insurance company.

Sure, you have insurance and they will need to pay for most of the repairs but if you wait until the claims check is ready to begin, then your losses might end up being even more. Just remember to keep all your receipts as you will need to add these expenses to your claims report.

In addition to making small repairs, you will also want to take pictures of everything. While you don’t need to have a full inventory of everything you own, taking pictures of the big things will help you in your process of getting a fair settlement from your insurance company.

Keep in mind that one picture might not be enough. As such, use your digital camera for what is it is worth and take pictures of everything you own from multiple angles. This will help you and the insurance company to negotiate the condition of the things you own and to determine the replacement value.

Finding a Contractor

In the days after a major storm, it can be close to impossible to find a reputable contractor who is has the time to help you rebuild. As such, you want to keep a short list of potential contractors you can reach out to. Have these people on speed dial as they are sure to be in demand and they might even need to repair their own homes. As such, you want to be one of the first people calling them, or you will be at the end of a very long line.

In addition, to finding your contractor, make sure they have experience working with your insurance company as this will help in terms of scheduling work, and importantly, payment.

Leave No Stone Unturned

Rebuilding a home is not cheap and even if you have the best insurance, you will still have out-of-pocket expenses. As such, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. This could be money from the federal government or the state government and could even include looking at what you can salvage from your home, or those nearby, to help reduce the cost of rebuilding.

Guide Editor Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:39:34 -0500
6 Reasons to Sell your Mortgage Note If you have a mortgage note, then that means, as an independent seller, you financed the property to the buyer by yourself, meaning that the mortgage is being paid directly to you. This means that you’re collecting and keeping track of payments, because you’re basically the bank in this case. You’re giving your property in exchange for periodical compensation, rather than receiving all it is worth up front. Thanks to the interest rates, you’ll end up with more in the end, but it’s still time consuming. If you no longer want to be entrusted with the duty of acting as the bank, or would like money faster, then you can look to American Equity Funding to buy that mortgage note. There are a lot of reasons people will sell that mortgage note, and you may not realize that you’re in those situations that would call for it.

Putting the Money into Other Property Projects

One thing you can do, is get that lump sum from a buy-out of your mortgage note, and put it into a new home. Then you’re still in the market and have a new project to work on. You could also use this money for improving a property you already have. Or multiple properties, if you want to spread that money as far as you can. You can look to these simple improvements to help with finding those.

Investing in Other Places

One thing to know about investing is that the more money you’re putting in, then the more money you’ll be gaining if you’re doing it right. But also, the more money you have to spread around and diversify that portfolio with, the better rate of success you’ll have. The huge lump sum you could get from selling your mortgage note could prove to make you more money than you would think with some smart investing.

Increasing the Amount, you Have Saved

Having a lot of savings is always good, because you never know what could happen. If you have all that money in a savings account, then you’re prepared. You also may have a savings goal to get to so that you can buy a new property or just something huge that you’ve been wanting, and selling your mortgage note might get you more money than you would think, which could also be enough to get you to that goal.


Going off that, you could already be in that emergency. You may think that you won’t be getting enough to offset those medical bills or huge debts you have that seemed to pop out of nowhere, but selling your mortgage note could be the answer you need. With American Equity Funding, they can give you a free quote which means you can start figuring the numbers and find out if this option will be the one that will dig you out of the hole.

Getting Rid of the Responsibility of Managing your Mortgage Note

Playing banker isn’t always easy. You’ve got to make sure that your buyer is on time and able to pay up to the financing agreed upon. It’s hard work and sometimes you need to be rough with it. A lot of people find out once they’re in that they’re in over their head with trying to keep up on all the management, which is okay. You can get rid of the note and just run with the money. If it’s more on the situational side though, you can sell the note for a period. You can sell off 36 or 48 months, meaning that the buyer of the note will be collecting for those months, and you’ll walk away with a lump sum that’s fair according the period. After that period, you’ll start collecting from the mortgage again. Meaning that you don’t have to give it up forever.

Getting into a Safer Investment

You may also be worried about how well this will pay off. Maybe the people you have sold to aren’t going to be on time or just flat out won’t be able to keep up at all. Selling off the mortgage means you can move that money to a better investment such as buying another property and getting a better mortgage note with new buyers. Being an individual and having to foreclose by yourself is very hard and will put you in some financial dead ends, but it’s easier for those who have the financial sense to clean up those situations and deal with the hits.

Guide Editor Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:25:17 -0500
Moving During the Winter? Keep These Tips in Mind Are you planning on moving during the winter? There are seasonal challenges specific to the winter season that you need to be aware of and plan for in order to prevent a disaster. If you’re moving during the winter, keep these tips in mind. They’ll make the move more comfortable, safer and less of a hassle for everyone.

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Confirm Details with Movers

Summer tends to be the busy season for movers, while winter is their slow season. However, you want to follow up with them to make sure your driver didn’t take a vacation when you’re planning on them showing up. Likewise, you want to confirm pricing since you may have received a season discount that wasn’t properly applied or were given last year’s price quote when prices went up on the first of January. And you don’t want someone to accidentally send a truck too small for the job because they misunderstood the job.

Check the Utilities

You must, absolutely must, check all appliances when moving in winter. It isn’t safe to move into a house only to discover the power or gas won’t be turned on for another day or two. That’s aside from the risk of the pipes bursting when they freeze. If possible, turn on the utilities – especially the heat – two days before you move in.

Turn Up the Thermostat

When you’re moving into a new home, you want to turn up the thermostat to keep the home comfortable though the doors may be wide open. This is critical to do as soon as possible when you weren’t able to turn on the heat in advance.

You’ll especially want to heat your bathroom so that it is comfortable when people decide to take a hot shower after a long day of moving boxes through snow covered yards and loading it in a freezing garage. A space heater can make that area tolerable even while the rest of the house is freezing.

Know When There Won’t Be Snow

It’s winter. It may snow when you’re planning on moving. It may have snowed last week and remained piled up. The only thing you know is that four feet of snow on the ground makes it hard to move furniture into the house or even pull into the driveway. One solution is to know the snow removal plans for the area you’re moving into. Then you can arrive with your truck on newly plowed streets, knowing whether or not the street and sidewalks are clear. If you need to arrive when there won’t be snow removal for sidewalks and driveways, you’ll know to hire someone in advance of your arrival to do it for you. And know the snow removal schedule so you don’t get dented – literally or financially – when leaving your car or moving van in the street on the wrong day.

If you want the process to go as smoothly as possible, make sure you follow the tips in this article. Moving in the winter can seem like a challenge, but can be done when you have a solid plan in place.

Guide Editor Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:10:13 -0500
6 Ways to Boost Your Home's Curbside Appeal in One Afternoon Thinking of showing your house? Or maybe letting out a couple of rooms on Airbnb? Don't have much time on your hands but want to do something that will get people interested in seeing more?

First impressions not only are powerful when meeting new people for the first time. They also contribute to how quickly we feel attached to objects, settings, and even houses. So the time and effort you put toward sprucing up the outside of your house is time not wasted.

Here are 6 ways you can create the wow factor at first glance. And the best thing about it, these activities can be done in the space of one afternoon.

  1. Keep that green sheen.

No matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise, a green lawn that is well-manicured is an eye catcher. The others? The lawns that let thatch build up or that have overgrown and browning grass? Or patchy turf? Those are the lawns that stand out as the eyesore on the street. Showing your house off is particularly difficult when all the other houses on your street have lawns that are well-kept. Don't stand out for the wrong reasons. Keep that green sheen by aeration and regular lawn maintenance.

  1. Paint your door.

Did you know that certain paint colors can increase the purchase value of your house? Buyers can be both attracted as well as repulsed by the color of your door. So what color has the best success rate? Doors that have been known to attract buyers are cheerful and sunny yellows. Striking and dramatic blacks. And vibrant reds. In fact, more than cleaning floors or scrubbing out kitchens, research has shown that the thing people look at most when seeing a house? 75 percent focus on eye-catching features. With a door that features a vibrant color, you will make the right impression from the get-go.

Painting your door can be done by you in an afternoon of work. No need to shell out money to get this done!

  1. Plant a tree.

When people think of their dream house, they often picture a tree somewhere in the background of their home. Subconsciously, trees, particularly large ones, invite the idea of establishing roots in one place. Other images that come to mind when a tree is visible on your property is the idea of flourishing as a family. On a practical level, the home will enjoy shade in the summer, helping to conserve energy and bringing welcome coolness during hot July days. Wondering what type of tree to plant? Number one on many people's list is the Sun Valley Maple.

  1. Pick out a wreath.

If a tree feels like too much of a commitment, the next best thing to add to the front of your house is a wreath on your door. Not only constrained to the holidays, you can find an appropriate wreath that perfectly suits the season. Summer wreaths with pops of yellow, spring wreaths with hints of blue, and fall wreaths with reds and oranges. A wreath on a front door is a beautiful way to celebrate each season that will charm and delight from the first glance.

  1. Add a bench or a rocking chair.

If your house has a porch, you are in luck. A bench or a rocking chair, or some other outdoor seating set is the perfect way to showcase the delights of sitting on the front porch in the evenings. Little touches like these provide ideas to those you are showing your house to. It allows them to picture themselves in those meditative spots. And this is a quick way to spruce up your porch. All it takes is running down to the Home Depot and choosing a set that makes you wish for more evenings out on the porch.

Keep in mind, outdoor furniture is different from indoor furniture. Outdoor furniture is made to withstand heat and weather extremes. Using indoor furniture outdoors will not last nearly as long as its counterparts.

  1. Install a rock walkway.

A rock walkway that leads up to your porch or front door from your driveway is one of those winners you can bet on. And is considered one of the most time-proven ways to increase the value of your home. Additionally, you can add a rock path that meanders through your front garden, or that takes you from one side of your lawn to the other. These touches are visually pleasing and also increase the safety of your front yard.

Guide Editor Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:25:35 -0500
What to Consider when Buying a Shower Enclosure

A beautiful shower can make a big difference in a bathroom. It is a good starting point if you want to build your dream bathroom or you’re looking to improve it. Your shower can have all the design elements and luxuries, making your bathroom a haven for relaxation. When designing a bathroom, it is wise to start by choosing the shower enclosure, the catalyst for most remodels. A big trend these days is frameless glass enclosures that offer a spa-like feel. For a better understanding of your choices, here is a brief guide to help you in selecting the right one for your needs.

  1. Space

The space in your bathroom may influence the type of shower enclosure you need. It is possible to fit a shower even if you have a tight space. In this case, you still have different choices such as mirrored glass, over-bath shower and alcove, corner or recess enclosures.

  1. Positioning

Think of where you intend to place the shower enclosure. This determines the shower tray and enclosure door required. For instance, if you want your shower to be in the centre of a wall, you may need a D-shape enclosure. If you’re doing an upgrade and you want to save on costs, you can choose the existing position so less plumbing work is needed.

  1. Type of Glass

Various types of shower doors are available, but to help you choose, you need to remember some key points. Tempered glass is a good option because it is safe, durable and easy to clean. It can last long so it is also a good investment. Another option is toughened safety glass, which is best for shower enclosures and wet rooms. When choosing glass, keep in mind that thicker glass needs extra support. If on a budget, 4mm or 6mm glass is a good choice. The glass thickness may be restricted if you have a very large, or curved, area of glass.

  1. Tray

Shower enclosures may or may not have a tray. Having a tray can be advantageous because it can help prevent leaks. You can buy the enclosure and tray together to get the right size. If you’re installing a recess shower, you have to choose the size carefully.

  1. Hand Fitting

To figure out where you want to position your enclosure, think about whether you need to open it to the right or left and where any potential obstructions are.

A wide range of shower enclosure types is available, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste. These include quadrant enclosures, frameless, hinged, sliding, pivot, shower cabins and more. After that, you can choose the type of glass you want and the other elements such as the tiles or shower outlets. It pays to do your homework and research your options, so you can make an informed decision.

Image: nuttakit

Guide Editor Mon, 13 Nov 2017 22:09:22 -0500
Effective Tips to Improve Home Living

The best home improvement ideas are the ones that don't break the bank and are very useful in day to day life. Home remodeling projects don't have to be a time-consuming, expensive endeavor. Sometimes, simple changes can have the most pronounced effects.

To help you get inspired, we've listed some home improvement tips below. These projects aren't that expensive when compared to large investments like swimming pools and bathroom extensions.

Make a multi-purpose recreation room

Doubling as your event room, this space should be focused on entertainment. Get a bunch of sofas in here and place them in front of a huge flat screen display. If you're willing to invest more, you can get a projector and make a mini-cinema out of the space.

If you have sports tables, move them here. A couple of desks and office chairs for computers and laptops and you're set for any local gaming events if you're into that hobby. Move your wireless router inside the room if you can as well.

Improve your pad's mobile connectivity

In this day and age, everyone has a smartphone. If your place is suffering from bad cellular and mobile Internet reception, you might want to invest in a signal booster. A home signal booster kit should be enough to solve your connectivity woes away.

A stronger cellular signal means fewer dropped calls, faster messaging, more reliable and faster mobile Internet through 3G and 4G LTE service. Smartphones get to save on battery life as well while operating within a booster unit's coverage.

Apply a fresh coat of paint to your aging house

Having an aesthetic fit over the dated-looking tables and shelves in your rooms? Spruce them up by painting them with light, modern hues. This is a cheap and easy way to facelift your aging pad. You might as well reconfigure the color schemes of your rooms while you're at it.

It's all about mood when it comes to room colors. Soothing shades are typically chosen for places of relaxation like bedrooms and living rooms. Bright hues are visually stimulating, so they're usually fit for dining and exercise rooms. Just dive into it, get creative, and paint to your heart's desires.

Get in shape with an exercise room

If you're into a healthy lifestyle, you probably exercise regularly. You might as well facilitate that need by building your own mini-gym. Getting to exercise whenever you want is really convenient. You get to save on gym fees as well. This can be an expensive proposition though, so ease into it by gradually buying your exercise implements.

Start with the basics like a bench and free weights. An exercise mat for floor exercises and yoga is another easy addition. You can move in the big-ticket items later on if you're really serious about it.

Wrapping up

Home remodeling doesn't have to be a huge, extravagant deal. The best improvement ideas are the simplest, most practical ones. Consider your needs first before your wants and you'll go along way in improving your home.

There are countless more home remodeling ideas out there on the Internet. Don't hesitate to take advantage of this knowledge while brainstorming for your own unique plans.

Guide Editor Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:59:24 -0400
Five Modern Basement Toilet Remodeling Ideas

People carry out home renovations for different reasons. Some may want to add aesthetic value to their home while others may want to redecorate to have a look and a feeling of their choice. Remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, roof or basement has the advantage of increasing the value of your home which is profitable in case you opt to resale the property.

Thus, when out looking for remodeling ideas, it is important to go with what is trendy and something that will survive the next decade or so with its value still intact. Some of the basement toilet remodeling ideas include;

Use of mirrors instead of medicine cabinets

There is a general preference for more room even if you live in a small house. To make your basement bathroom look bigger, use more mirrors in the compartment. Remove the old cabinets and dressers and make the bathroom simple yet appealing. Minimize the number of handles, water and temperature control knobs, simple is attractive and also cheap.

Turn it into a spa

Use some masculine wooden frames and cabinets and turn that unused basement toilet into a home spa. Use some neutral colors that have a calming effect and ensure that you have installed a reliable basement toilet pumps so that the room will remain fresh at all time. Plumbing must be done very well to make sure that the room is devoid of moisture at all times.

Light up the room

Lighting options are many, but the most important thing to remember when doing a basement bathroom remodeling is that all the bulbs must be waterproof. Even the tiles used should be waterproof to ensure that all the water drains. You can choose to use ceiling lamps so that they can illuminate the vanity areas through the mirror reflections or use recessed lighting for a better appeal.

Subdivide the bathroom in style to give room for more privacy

When you have guests at your home, some of them end up sleeping in your basement. With a subdivided bathroom and toilet region, the visitors will enjoy some privacy. Even if your basement is small, use mirrors to make the room appear big and consider using vertical towel racks instead of horizontal vanities.

Convert it to a full bath

If your basement toilet is merely a toilet and a sink, consider remodeling it to a full bath that will give the basement occupant the same feeling like the people using upstairs bathrooms. If space is an issue, use a corner shower cabinet and combine it with floating vanities to create more space in the basement. You can also use white tiles on the floor and walls to make the room appear bigger.

Always go for simple but elegant renovation options. You must not buy the most expensive décor or light fixtures for your basement bathroom. You will add value as long as you make the room look and feel comfortable and spacious. Also, remember that the bathroom should also be a private area for you and your guests. With this guide, your basement will turn into a luxurious spa and a safe room to let go of the day’s pressures.

Guide Editor Fri, 22 Sep 2017 05:52:51 -0400