Pinder Braich's Blog
Tackling projects around the house allows you to boost your skills, saves you money and ensures your home stays in peak condition -- usually. While DIY projects can be safe, successful and rewarding, there are some instances where you're better off leaving the work to a pro. From jobs that are dangerous to those that require specialty tools for success, the following projects can turn your DIY dreams into nightmares:
Don't DIY these Home Projects:
Roof Repairs and Heavy Tree Work
Both of these tasks take place off the ground and pose a significant risk of injury, even to those who have experience and are working with full teams. Taking down a large tree puts you and your home in jeopardy, while roof work is one of the leading causes of injuries for construction workers. Avoid these high-risk jobs and hire a pro with the equipment to work safely and well, even off the ground.
Big Electric Projects
Most of us can swap out a light bulb or the fixture it belongs in, but more extensive and complicated repairs and upgrades require a pro. In some larger projects, you'll need to have the work approved and ensure that it is up to code (particularly true if you are repairing or readying a rental property). In others, the risk of injuring yourself is just too great. Even if you avoid injury, a single mistake in your work can lead to a fire hazard and put your home and family at risk. If you need specialized tools, have a job that requires a full inspection or that could result in a fire hazard, leave the work to a professional.
Hazardous Material Mitigation
You may be able to scrape away that mold, remove smoke odors or strip the lead paint in your home, but it is generally a bad idea. Any project that exposes you or your home to environmental hazards needs to be done by a pro. You could injure yourself during the process -- and even if you escape injury, you could end up missing part of the pieces you intend to remove. In this case, you'll actually increase your family's exposure to dangerous mold, lead or asbestos. Leave these hazards to a pro for your own safety and well-being.
Skip these projects and use your time, talent and tools to tackle just about anything else around the house -- you'll stay safe, save money and get the results you want. too.
A homebuying budget can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to streamline a house search. If you have a budget at your disposal, you will know approximately how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your house search accordingly.
Establishing a homebuying budget can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you do just that.
1. Evaluate Your Finances
Your income and savings can have far-flung effects on your ability to acquire your dream house. If you perform an in-depth review of your finances, you can find out exactly how much money you have available before you launch a house search.
It often is a good idea to consider your long-term finances as you prepare to kick off a house search, too. A house usually is a long-term investment. And if you account for your long-term finances in your homebuying budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to conduct a successful home search.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about different types of mortgages. Plus, they can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage without delay.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. Of course, if you have mortgage questions, you should address them before you submit a mortgage application. Once you have a mortgage in hand, you can establish a price range for your house search.
3. Examine Your Potential Closing Costs
Attorney fees, house inspection expenses and other closing costs may surprise some homebuyers. Yet if you understand your potential closing costs, you can plan ahead for these expenses.
Closing costs generally range between 2 percent and 5 percent of a house's purchase price. They also may be incorporated into the overall cost of a house. However, if you evaluate potential closing costs early in the homebuying journey, you can account for these expenses in your property buying budget.
As you get ready to launch a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional understands what it takes to find and acquire a terrific home at a budget-friendly price. Therefore, he or she will do everything possible to help you accomplish your homebuying goals as quickly as possible.
If you want to purchase a house close to your office in the city, for instance, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to help you find a first-rate house in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you aspire to own a home that boasts multiple bedrooms, a real estate agent will help you hone your house search to residences that fall in line with your expectations.
Ready to launch a successful home search? Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare an effective homebuying budget. As a result, you could speed up your quest to discover and purchase your dream house.
If you intend to sell your house, you may need to put various personal belongings into a storage unit. By doing so, you can eliminate clutter from your residence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.
However, packing a storage unit sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make the most of the storage unit space at your disposal.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the available space in a storage unit.
1. Plan Ahead
Think about the storage unit space that is available and consider the items that you'll be keeping in the unit itself. Then, you can plan accordingly.
When in doubt, it often helps to rent a storage unit that provides more than enough space. And if you're unsure about how much space that you'll need, you can always reach out to a storage unit provider for extra support.
Typically, a storage unit provider can offer expert recommendations about the size of the unit that you'll need based on your belongings. Consider these recommendations closely, and you can select the right-size storage unit to accommodate all of your belongings.
2. Ensure Your Boxes Are Easily Accessible
It may be tempting to stack all of your boxes together in a storage unit. But for those who want to maximize the storage unit space that is available, it usually helps to stack boxes in a way that guarantees they are easily accessible.
Creating aisles of boxes in a storage unit will make it simple for you to access a box without having to move other items out of the way.
Furthermore, place boxes with items that you may need most frequently at the front of a storage unit. This will ensure that you can enjoy fast, seamless access to these boxes.
3. Dismantle Furniture
Couches, chairs and other furniture can take up lots of space in a storage unit. Conversely, if you remove the legs from furniture, you may be able to free up space in your storage unit.
If you decide to remove the legs from furniture, you may want to tape the legs to the furniture itself. Also, don't forget to place related furniture bolts and screws in a plastic bag, attach the bag to the furniture and label the bag.
Renting a storage unit is a major decision, one that should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can choose the right storage unit provider.
A real estate agent is happy to help you sell your house, as well as put you in touch with the best storage unit providers in your area. That way, you can secure your belongings in a first-rate storage unit until your house sells.
Get the most out of a storage unit – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble keeping a wide range of items in any storage unit, at any time.
When choosing a house or condo to live in for the next several years, comfort, convenience, and affordability are among the most important factors to keep in mind. A fourth item that many real estate agents would add to that list is "location."
The location of your next home is crucial for many reasons -- not the least of which is future resale value. Ideally, you want the value of your home to appreciate over time, which will help improve your financial situation. Whether you decide to upgrade or downsize in your next real estate purchase, the equity you've built up can benefit both your lifestyle goals and real estate objectives.
In addition to the investment features of picking a good location for your next home, there are also several other worthwhile advantages.
- A reasonable commute time, preferable under a half an hour, will help reduce your stress level, enable you to spend more time with your family, and reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle. A short commute can also help you save money on gas, highway tolls, depreciation, and insurance. One way to reduce your driving time is to look into telecommuting possibilities at your job. Even if you have a relatively long commute to work, that can be offset by having the freedom to work from home a couple days a week. Fortunately, more and more businesses are realizing the mutual benefits of allowing or even encouraging telecommuting. While it may be necessary to prove to your employer that your productivity won't suffer when you're working from home, doing so can save you money, lower your stress, and improve your overall quality of life. Let's face it: There are a lot more fulfilling things you can do with your time than getting stuck in traffic jams and feeling frazzled when you return home every night!
- A convenient location can also mean proximity to shopping, entertainment, recreation, family, friends, and places of worship. Being close to medical, dental, and veterinary services can also make your life a lot easier -- especially when you need to get there quickly.
- From a health and fitness standpoint, it also pays to live within a short distance to public parks, tennis courts, golf courses, bike paths, gyms, and bodies of water for swimming, kayaking, and other aquatic sports.
- For younger families, being close to childcare resources -- whether it be a daycare center or nearby (and available) relative -- can also be a major factor in getting to work on time, making sure your children are properly cared for, and minimizing chaos in your life!
High winds and heavy rainfall have the potential to cause serious harm to your lawn, flowers, shrubs and trees. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to minimize the damage. If a storm has been forecast for your area, here's what you need to do before it hits.
Mow Your Lawn
Mow your lawn if at all possible before the storm. This will help ensure that cleaning up any fallen debris will be easier when the storm has run its course. Besides, it will be one less thing you'll have to do after the storm has passed.
Pick Your Fruit
If you've got fruit trees in your yard, pick the fruit that's ripe or soon-to-be ripe. Otherwise, they may become projectiles in high wind conditions, posing a significant hazard that can break windows and harm people or animals, and even if this doesn't happen, it's likely that you'll lose the fruit if you don't pick it before the wind starts. As an added bonus, you'll have plenty of good things to eat while you wait out the storm.
Move or Secure Outdoor Plants in Containers
Moving potted plants into the house, garage, or a sturdy outbuilding helps ensure they don't become damaged by high winds. For planters that are too large to bring inside, try to place them on their sides. Make sure you either remove or thoroughly secure any trellises or stakes.
Stake Newly Planted Trees
Recently planted trees won't have had the time necessary to develop strong root systems, so be sure to stake them firmly to help keep them in place. Use tree stakes or two-by-fours, and be sure to keep the tie-downs loose enough to allow the trees to be able to move in the wind.
Clear Your Storm Drains
Storm drains that are full of accumulated debris can quickly fill with water during storms, resulting in flooding. Making certain yours are clean and clear will help prevent standing water situations in your yard and garden area. Standing water has the potential to severely damage or destroy the root systems of lawn grass, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees.
It's also important to take protective measures so your yard and garden area gets through the stormy season with as little damage as possible. Healthy plants fare better under adverse conditions, and making the right planting selection also goes a long way toward keeping your yard from being ravaged by wind. When in doubt about what to include in your landscaping, choose plants that are native to the area -- unlike their non-native counterparts, they'll be acclimated to local weather conditions and therefore better able to come through storms intact.