Tina McManus' Blog
That feeling of rest and happiness you feel when you pull up at the front of your house after a long stressful day is indescribable. Now you can rest, shower, unwind or do nothing. If you live in a detached single family home, chances are you would have your driveway and would solely be responsible for its upkeep.
When building or remodeling a house, one of the overlooked features is the driveway. Your driveway is a part of your home and should reflect that warm, welcoming feeling of your home. Because your drive is the first thing people notice when coming into your home, it’s advisable you select the right type of driveway material for your home.
Suggested driveway materials best suitable for your house are...
Asphalt is a common and highly practical driveway material that’s inexpensive compared to stone and concrete, its two primary solid-surface opponents.
Asphalt is very high-maintenance, especially in harsh climates. Professionals recommend sealing asphalt driveways within a year of fitting and resealing every three to five years. Resealing can be quite expensive: The cost to reseal on the average is about $400, the price is lesser for shorter driveways and more costly for longer ones. You may also need seasonal maintenance depending on driveway usage, quality, and stability. Asphalt driveways are stable, of excellent quality, easy to plow during the winter season and with a higher traction quotient.
Gravel is the cheapest and most sturdy of the other common driveway materials. It cost less than $300 to install and doesn’t require much time; Gravel driveways will last for a long time if given proper care.
The gravel driveway is very affordable and can cost about $0.50 per square foot, it’s durable, and with the right maintenance, it will last a lifetime.
Pavers are the most expensive of the other driveway materials. It’s also considered the most attractive. Pavers blend well with different exterior and design elements, such as fountain fall, driveway islands, and stone walkways.
Pavers improve your home appeal and give your home entrance a great look. It is durable, clean, stable and affordable to maintain.
At first glance, concrete and asphalt have similar characteristics, but concrete is relatively durable and require less maintenance cost. A concrete driveway can last 100% more than the asphalt driveway depending on the climate and use.
The concrete driveway is stable with surfaces not prone to mud, it doesn’t require much to maintain especially during the winter season, and it has a long life span.
Having a beautiful and adequately maintained driveway will not only provide your home with that alluring curb appeal, but it will also boost the resale value of your property in the market if you decide to sell.
When selecting an area rug, several factors will go into determining the size, shape, material, and even the thickness you want. Just like buying a home, it is all about location, location, location. Ask yourself these questions:
- Where will you use the rug?
- How much traffic does that room get?
- Must it hold up to wet shoes and outdoor debris?
- Will there be food in the room?
- Are pets likely to sleep on the rug?
- Will your children play on the rug?
- Do you like to sit or lie down on the rug?
If your rug is in a formal living room, a hand-tufted silk or wool rug might work, but if the carpet graces your family room, where the kids and pets will play on it, nylon or viscose are more durable fabrics. Also, some family members might find the wool in a rug scratchy on bare legs and arms.
High traffic areas such as an entry or hallway, or a busy family room might benefit from sisal or jute if no one wants to sit on them. Moreover, either sisal or jute under a table where crumbs can filter between the spaces in the weave is probably not useful.
Size and shape
In the case of rugs, size matters and bigger is better. If a rug is too small, it chops up your design. The perfect size can pull everything together into a cozy space. When sizing up your carpet needs, consider the room’s orientation. If the room is a rectangle, but you want your sitting area to be a square with a walkway behind the sofa, opt for a square rug. In breakfast nooks, use a round or octagonal rug under a round or octagonal table. Use square under a pub table too. If your dinette is oblong or oval, a rectangular rug is best.
- In the dining room, choose a rug size with at least two or three feet beyond each side of the table to allow for pulling out chairs. Most formal dining tables need a rug that is eight feet wide or wider to accommodate the larger chairs.
- In your living room, leave at least a one-foot space between the edge of the rug and the walls. Your carpet should be large enough that at least the front feet of your main furniture pieces can rest on the rug.
Pile or thickness
When determining the thickness or pile, consider whether a piece of furniture will fit entirely on the rug or be partially off it. If the pile leaves the front feet higher than the back, seating might feel awkward.
If you need help deciding which rug will best fit in your new home, talk to a design specialist at a local carpet store.
The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:
1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.
Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.
2. You can look at the big picture.
Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.
Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
3. You can get the help you need to succeed.
No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.
As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.
Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.
Statistics vary, but according to two credible sources, 44% of Americans own a dog. That means that if you don't own a dog, there's a strong chance one or both of your next door neighbors do!
Why are dogs such a permanent fixture in so many households? Unconditional love is probably the number one reason most people bring a dog into their lives, but enhanced health, home security, and companionship are others.
Health benefits: If you have a dog in your family, you probably already know the power of the "w" word. From a dog's perspective, there are few experiences that outrank the joy of going for a walk with their master! It not only provides a daily bonding experience for both dog and owner, but it's also an opportunity to introduce a moderate amount of exercise into your life -- assuming your doctor approves! While running, athletics, or weight training is not up everyone's alley (or even medically advisable), taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood can be a great way to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy bonding moments with your four-legged companion! It's also a proven fact that petting or playing with a dog (or cat) can help lower your blood pressure and distract you from the cares and worries of everyday life.
Teaching moments: Not only do most kids love playing with pets, but they can also benefit from learning pet responsibility, kindness, and compassion.
Home security: While it's not an infallible method of burglarproofing your house, having a dog almost always serves as a deterrent. Most dogs are inherently protective of their territory (and loved ones) and will generally bark if they sense an intruder on the property or at the front door. Since one of the last things burglars want to do is call attention to themselves, a barking dog can definitely help keep the bad guys away!
Companionship: Dogs aren't the greatest conversationalists in the world, but they can be a very comforting presence when you're reading a book, watching TV, or relaxing at home. Many also love to join you for a ride in the car, a walk in the neighborhood, or a run in the park.
While dog ownership is not for everyone, more than 40% of us could not imagine life without our canine companion(s)! They do require a lot of attention, patience, and training, but the rewards are usually well worth the effort.
If you're considering getting a dog, you can gather a lot of helpful information about dog breeds, barking tendencies, temperament, shedding, how much exercise different breeds require, and other characteristics from the American Kennel Association. To help ensure a mutually satisfying relationship between you and your dog, it also pays to sign up for a dog obedience class and go online to learn about dog behavior, crate training, and health maintenance.
Filling out a mortgage application may prove to be a long, exhausting process. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the mortgage application process so you can move one step closer to acquiring your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the mortgage application process with confidence.
1. Be Thorough
A mortgage application likely requests a lot of information about you, your finances and your employment history. However, it is important to answer each mortgage application question to the best of your ability. Because if you fail to do so, you risk delays in getting approved for a mortgage. Or, perhaps even worse, a lender may decline your mortgage application.
In addition, be honest in all of your mortgage application responses. This will ensure that if your mortgage application is approved, you will receive a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.
2. Ask Questions
There is no need to leave anything to chance as you complete a mortgage application. Thus, if you're uncertain about how to respond to various mortgage application questions, reach out to a lender for assistance.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, especially when it comes to filling out a mortgage application. Lenders employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to assist you in any way possible. Work with these mortgage specialists, and you can get the help you need to finalize your mortgage application.
3. Get Multiple Quotes
It may seem like a good idea to complete a single mortgage application to request home financing from a single lender. Yet doing so may be problematic, particularly for those who prioritize affordability.
Ultimately, meeting with multiple lenders and getting several mortgage quotes is ideal. If you shop around for a mortgage, you may be eligible for a low interest rate that helps you save money when you complete a home purchase.
Once you finish a mortgage application, it may be only a matter of time before you find out if you have received approval. Then, if you receive a "Yes" from a lender, you can accelerate the homebuying journey.
Of course, for those who plan to buy a home soon, it may be beneficial to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top lenders in your area, as well as help you complete a home search in no time at all.
A real estate agent typically learns about a homebuyer's goals and crafts a strategy to help this buyer accomplish his or her aspirations. Furthermore, a real estate agent provides recommendations and tips to help a homebuyer make informed decisions throughout the property buying journey. And if a homebuyer ever has concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.
Ready to complete a mortgage application? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can finalize a mortgage application, obtain home financing and make your homeownership dream come true.