Tina McManus' Blog
If you’re looking to save more energy and money around your home, perhaps one of the first places that you should look is your plugs. Take a look around your rooms and see what outlets are being used. If every outlet is full of plugs, you may have some adjustments to make.
There are so many things in our homes that require plugs including TV’s, microwaves, toasters, clocks, refrigerators, phone chargers, and more.
Anything that is always plugged in actually adds to your electric bill whether you’re using it or not. This is known as phantom power usage. Even when a device isn’t turned on, it’s still using energy.
You don’t want to go around your home and unplug everything, only to plug it back in when you need to use it. Use this handy guide to discover what you should unplug and what you can leave plugged in your home in order to save some energy and some money.
What To Unplug
Large appliances in your kitchen would be impractical to constantly plug in and unplug. Smaller appliances, however, are much easier to manage. These include toasters, coffee makers, food processors, and microwaves. The small digital clocks on many of these devices, for example, are constantly using energy. Do you really need the function? If you don’t need to know the time, you should just unplug it and save your home some energy usage.
We need to charge just about all of our devices including laptops, iPads, phones, and even electric toothbrushes. these items don’t need to be plugged in all the time. Once a device is charged fully, be sure to unplug it. It’s only wasting energy otherwise!
Unplug your computer each and every night. Screen savers and sleep modes don’t actually save much power from being used while your computer is plugged in. It’s a good idea to keep your computer unplugged for safety reasons as well. A strike of lighting hitting, for example, can cause your entire system to fry.
Keep These Items Plugged In
There are certain items that you can leave plugged in at your home without worry. These items include:
- Power strips
- Nondigital items
- Items without clock or LCD displays
Power strips are particularly useful for items like entertainment centers and computer setups. Flipping the switch to the off position on the power strip helps to stop the phantom power usage. The convenient thing is that you won’t need to plug and unplug everything in individually, and you’ll still save power.
Saving energy and money is easy when you have the right strategies put in place.
If you plan to sell your house in the foreseeable future, it usually pays to clean out the garage. In fact, a home seller who declutters the garage today can show homebuyers the true size and beauty of this space, thereby increasing a house's overall appeal.
Ultimately, it won't take long for a home seller to declutter the garage – here are three tips to help you remove clutter from your garage before you list your residence.
1. Identify Excess Items
Old automotive parts, tools and other excess items can take up lots of space in your garage. However, a homeowner who dedicates the necessary time and resources to identify garage clutter can plan accordingly.
Separate must-keep garage items from excess items. Then, you can determine exactly how much space that you'll need to store the items that you want to keep.
For many homeowners, storage cabinets and shelving units make it easy to keep track of items in a garage. Or, if you need extra space to store garage items, you may want to consider renting a storage unit until you finalize your home sale.
2. Sell, Donate or Dispose of Excess Items
When it comes to excess garage items, there is no need to delay the inevitable. If you sell, donate or dispose of garage clutter, you can quickly eliminate excess items from your garage.
Selling your excess garage items online or hosting a yard sale may prove to be worthwhile. In both instances, you can generate interest in assorted garage items and earn extra cash at the same time.
In addition, you may be able to donate excess garage items to local charities. If you reach out to local charities and learn about their donation policies, you can find out which charities will accept your excess garage items and schedule donation pick-ups.
On the other hand, if you find garage items that are broken or damaged, dispose of these items. That way, you can free up space in your garage immediately.
3. Conduct In-Depth Garage Cleaning
After you remove garage clutter, it is important to spend some time cleaning your garage from top to bottom. This will enable you to transform an ordinary garage into a spectacular one.
If you need extra help with garage cleaning, don't hesitate to contact a professional home cleaning company. This business likely employs friendly, diligent cleaning experts who can help you accelerate the garage cleaning process.
Lastly, if you're searching for the best ways to improve your home before you list it, you may want to hire a real estate agent.
A real estate agent can offer honest, unbiased garage cleaning recommendations and suggestions. Plus, this housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you up to date about offers on your residence and ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless home selling experience.
Want to sell your residence soon? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your garage's appearance in no time at all.
For those who plan to list a house in the foreseeable future, it often is beneficial to track the real estate market. By doing so, a home seller can identify real estate market patterns and trends and quickly address any potential property selling hurdles.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze housing market data so you can accelerate the property selling journey.
1. Review the Prices of Recently Sold Houses in Your Area
Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can find out whether sellers are accepting offers to purchase at or above their initial home asking prices.
Furthermore, it may be a good idea to see how your house ranks against recently sold residences. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
2. Determine How Quickly Houses Are Selling
As a home seller, you should find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. If you look at how quickly houses are selling in your city or town, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.
In a buyer's market, you will find many sellers and few buyers. Conversely, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and few sellers.
The differences between a buyer's and seller's market are significant. If you understand whether you're getting ready to sell your home in a housing market that favors buyers or sellers, you can determine how to price your residence so it will generate plenty of interest from buyers. And as a result, you may be able to streamline the home selling journey.
3. Assess the Prices of Homes That Are Similar to Your Own
Your home may be one of many available to property buyers. Thus, you should review the prices of houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you narrow the price range for your residence.
Also, you may want to review rival home sellers' property listings and see how these sellers promote their residences to prospective buyers. Because if you can find ways to differentiate your home listing from competitors', you could boost the likelihood of a successful house selling experience.
As you prepare to add your house to the real estate market, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will offer recommendations so you can enhance your residence both inside and out and help you establish a competitive initial home asking price. Plus, a real estate agent will help you review an offer to purchase your home and determine the best course of action.
Take the guesswork out of selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can monitor the real estate market and use housing sector data to simplify the property selling journey.
There are many ways you can make your house attractive to prospective buyers. Curb appeal goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. Your yard is one indication of the amount of time you’ve spent caring for your property in general. Buyers are undoubtedly attracted to homes that have been properly maintained so if you plan to sell your property, don’t neglect your landscaping. Just like washing the dishes and vacuuming floors positively impacts the look of your interior spaces, regular yard maintenance will do the same for your exterior spaces.
The following tips can help give you a good head start:
Plan to mow your lawn at least once a week. Use a weed wacker or edger to clean up around fences or play yards where your lawnmower might not reach.
Remove weeds, leaves and clippings from walkways and patios. After you mow the lawn, use a leaf blower or broom to remove lawn clippings from walkways. If you have a brick or stone pathway, pull the weeds that may grow between the pavers.
Create clean edges between your grass and planting areas. You don’t need to install special materials to achieve this look. Use a straight-edge shovel to create or refresh an existing edge then add a fresh layer of mulch or stone to complete the transition.
Overgrown plants can be hard for homebuyers to overlook. Neglected shrubs and bushes may block the view of your house, they may interfere with walkways, doors, or other plantings and often just look untidy. Invest in a pair of loppers or hand pruners that can handle the plantings on your property. If you are not familiar with how to approach trimming the shrubs or trees you have, be sure to do some research before you start cutting. A local nursery or landscaper can provide advice on how and during which season you should prune your plantings.
A smart way to attract prospective buyers is to improve the landscaping around your home. Consult with your real estate agent for more ways to improve your curb appeal and for local landscaping resources.
Believe it or not, you don't need to be a homebuying expert to score a great deal on your dream residence. In fact, there are many things you can do to find and acquire a house that won't force you to break your budget, and these include:
1. Shop Around
When it comes to conducting a home search, it generally is a good idea to be thorough. If you search for residences in a variety of cities and towns, you can boost the likelihood of finding a home that you can afford.
Also, it is important to remember that scoring a great deal on a residence usually requires hard work and patience. If you perform lots of housing market research, you can gain deep insights into the real estate sector. You then may be able to use housing market insights to find ways to speed up the process of locating and purchasing your ideal home.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
If you have a mortgage in hand when you start your home search, you will be better equipped than other buyers to pounce at the opportunity to acquire a budget-friendly home.
Typically, it won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with myriad banks and credit unions, you can explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage and perform a home search with a budget at your disposal.
If you have questions about a mortgage, there is no need to worry, either. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your home financing queries. Therefore, these specialists can help you make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who will help you find a terrific house at an affordable price – without exception. He or she knows what it takes to perform an in-depth home search, and as such, will take the guesswork out of acquiring your dream residence.
In addition, a real estate agent offers comprehensive homebuying insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. If you are unsure about where to search for a home, for example, a real estate agent can help you hone your homebuying criteria. Or, if you are uncertain about how much to offer to acquire your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive homebuying proposal.
A real estate agent is available to assist you in any way possible as you navigate the homebuying journey, too. That way, you can get the help you need to seamlessly go from homebuyer to homeowner.
For those who want to purchase a first-rate house at an economical price, it helps to prepare for the homebuying journey. By using the aforementioned tips, you can move quickly to find a home that falls in line with your finances. As a result, you could accelerate your home search and acquire your ideal residence in no time at all.