Tina McManus' Blog
You always want to be safe in your new home, but bringing home a new baby brings your safety protocol to a whole new level. In the first few months of life, the baby won’t be getting into too much trouble. By the time the baby can crawl, however, it’s a whole different story. This is why you want your home prepared before the baby even gets there. You should keep your home free of hazards. No more boxes in the way on the floor. The glass coffee table may need to be put away for a time. The nature of your home will certainly change once your little bundle of joy arrives. Below, you’ll find some of the most basic baby safety measures that you can take around your home in order to bring it from normal home to “baby proof.”
You’ll want to look at your home from the level of a child. Anything that you feel he or she could get into when you’re on the floor on your hands and knees is fair game.
Lock Drawers And Cabinets
Both drawers and cabinets should be locked in the bathroom, kitchen, even in your office. You never know what a baby can get himself into! This is especially important for drawers and cabinets that have sharp objects like knives, scissors, or tools. Any cabinets that have chemicals, heavy pans, or anything else you don’t want a child getting into should have a lock on them. Locks for cabinets are available in both the interior style or exterior style safety lock. Both types of locks can be easily installed in cabinets and drawers in order to prevent children from opening them, yet giving the adults in the house continued access to the things that they need.
These small plastic fittings come in a variety of types and styles. Some insert into the outlets themselves while others cover the entire outlet plate. Some snap onto the outlet while others open like a door. You’ll want to choose a type of outlet cover that will work best for your needs. You don’t want an inconvenience when you do use the plug and you also don’t want a lot of small plastic pieces hanging around the home to be just another hazard to your child.
Gates are one of the most valuable safety items that parents can install for their kids. Gates can be installed in doorways where the child shouldn’t have immediate access. These safety measures are also important at the bottom and top of each stairway in the home. Baby gates come in all shapes and styles, so you’ll want to decide what works best for your needs in the home. Some gates are mountable while others are detachable and portable from room to room. Some gates even have extension pieces that are available to be installed along with them to fit rooms of all sizes.
Bumpers get their name because they prevent exactly what the name states-bumping! You’ll want to put these bumpers and corner guards to cover any rough or sharp edges around your home. Consider covering the following areas of your home:
- Coffee tables
- Wood stoves
Anything with a sharp corner or edge needs to be covered to prevent your child from injury.
Baby Proofing can be a difficult task, but with the right tools, you’ll be able to protect your precious little one from harm around your other big investment- your home.
Obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of analyzing various mortgage options and choosing one that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help first-time homebuyers secure the ideal mortgage.
1. Assess All of the Mortgage Options at Your Disposal
Both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are available, and homebuyers who understand the pros and cons of these mortgage options may be better equipped than others to make the right mortgage decision.
A fixed-rate mortgage ensures a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage enables a homebuyer to budget for monthly home payments over the course of three decades. And in many instances, a homebuyer may be able to pay off a fixed-rate mortgage early without penalty.
On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage may start out with a lower monthly payment that escalates over the course of a few years. An adjustable-rate mortgage, for instance, may allow a homebuyer to acquire a home that surpasses his or her initial budget thanks to a lower initial monthly payment. However, after the first few years, the monthly mortgage payment may increase, and a homebuyer will need to plan accordingly.
Assess your mortgage options closely – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you can boost your chances of selecting a mortgage that works well based on your current and future financial needs.
2. Evaluate Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may impact his or her ability to get the right mortgage. Fortunately, a first-time homebuyer can analyze his or her credit score without delay.
You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, with your credit report in hand, you can better understand how potential lenders may view your mortgage application.
Of course, if you receive a copy of your credit report and find glaring errors, be sure to let the credit bureau know immediately. This will enable you to get any mistakes corrected and ensure these problems won't slow you down as you pursue your dream residence.
3. Consult with Potential Lenders
Although getting a mortgage may seem like an uphill climb at first, consulting with potential lenders may prove to be exceedingly valuable, especially for a first-time homebuyer.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable staff who are happy to educate you about assorted mortgage options. These lenders can teach you about the ins and outs of various mortgage options at your convenience.
Lastly, if you need extra help in your search for the perfect mortgage, real estate agents may be able to offer assistance. These housing market professionals can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about lenders in your area so you can move one step closer to securing your ideal mortgage.
Ready to get a mortgage for the first time? Use these tips, and you can accelerate the process of obtaining a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
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A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.
Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:
1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?
Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.
Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.
2. Are there any major issues with a home?
Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.
A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.
Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.
3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?
As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.
If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.
Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.
For many homeowners who keep a garden, insects are either a minor annoyance or a full on blight. Beetles, flies, caterpillars and other insects can quickly devour the leaves of your plants, leaving them stunted and unable to produce fruits and vegetables at the end of the season.
In our haste to be rid of these bugs, many people turn to pesticides. However, most pesticides aren’t discriminate in the insects they deter from your garden. As a result, they can also often discourage insects that are beneficial to your garden.
In this article, we’re going to list six insects that are beneficial for your garden and give you some tips on how to encourage them to feel at home in your garden.
1. Damsel Bugs
Damsel bugs look like a cross between a mantis and a grasshopper. They prey on many insects that can harm your garden, including caterpillars and aphids.
Ladybug, lady bird, lady beetle... These polka dotted insects have many names. They also have many uses for your garden. They ward off aphids and whiteflies, and let’s face it, they’re fun to look at as well. To attract ladybugs to your garden, plant some dill; these insects are attracted to the herb.
3. Soldier beetles
Named for their color which resembled the red coats of the early British army, soldier beetles are very beneficial to have in your garden. They eat the eggs and larvae of other insects, including beetles and moths, that can easily take over the leaves in your garden.
To find out if your plants have eggs or larvae on them, look on the underside of the leaves. Insects often lay their eggs on large leaves like those of squash and cucumber plants.
4. Braconid wasps
We know what you’re thinking, “Why would I ever want wasps in my garden?” Well, these particular wasps happen to be parasites that lay their eggs on other insects that feast on your garden.
You also don’t have to worry about being stung, since these wasps aren’t stingers. Plus, all of the eggs they lay on the insects that eat your garden will come in handy for keeping your garden pest-free later on.
There are about 25,000 known species of bees worldwide. Many of them are among the best pollinators for your flower or vegetable garden.
To attract beneficial bees to your garden, incorporate native plants and avoid pesticides. Bees have a good sense of color, so the wider variety of colorful flowers you have, the more likely you are to attract these pollinators.
Technically speaking, worms aren’t considered insects. However, they’re on this list because of the benefit they provide to your garden. This includes recycling organic waste in your garden, and improving soil composition. They loosen them soil to allow oxygen and useful bacteria to enter the plant roots.