Your Home – DIY Home Renovation Tips

home diy

An abundance of home improvement programs is the proof: People like to make their homes beautiful! And there’s nothing more satisfying than rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself.

So where should you begin? Pick DIY home renovation projects that are simple, inexpensive, and rewarding. You’ll fall in love with the results of your efforts!

Paint Your Walls

Painting is one of the least expensive, yet most impactful home renovations that you can do yourself. But depending on the size of the room that you are painting, it can be a time-consuming task. The key to a successful paint job is preparation. Here are the steps you should never skip:
– Clean all of the walls and use a degreasing spray where needed
– Remove outlet covers and switch plates
– Patch nail holes
– Use painter’s tape on baseboards, trim, and moldings

When you prepare well, painting can be done in no time at all!

Brighten Up Your Cabinets

Kitchens and bathrooms are high traffic areas. They’ll start to look worn-out long before the rest of your house does. A cabinet refresh can make these rooms look fresh and bright!

Make sure that you buy specialty paints for cabinets. Chalk paint is usually a good bet. Follow all of the instructions carefully, especially when it comes to sanding, priming, and sealing.

Another quick cabinet fix is to change out the hardware. Drawer knobs and pulls can be found in all shapes and colors at your local hardware store or online. But before you buy the new ones, measure the existing holes to avoid any patching or drilling. All you need is a screwdriver, and you’ll have a new look!

Refresh Your Floors

Beautiful floors are just one easy DIY fix away! There are plenty of options available to make your floors look brand-new. Forget about messy grouting; self-stick floor tiles are easy to install and come in a variety of designs. They can imitate marble, wood, or even mosaic patterns.

Another DIY option is to paint your floors with specialty floor paint. You can customize your floors with colors and patterns that work with your overall decor.

Spruce Up Your Entryway

Is your entryway giving off the best first impression of your home? If not, it’s time to get to work with some easy DIY solutions!

Painting the front door is your first job. Pick a bold color and use paint that is durable for all weather. Another quick fix is to change out your hardware. It’s easy to update your doorknob and door knocker to something more stylish. Next, take a look at your house numbers to make sure they match the overall tone of your entryway. Even the smallest item, your doorbell, can be updated.

Switch Your Light Fixtures

From the dining room chandelier to bathroom vanity lighting, changing your light fixtures will have a huge impact. Pick fixtures that match the overall style of your home, even if they aren’t all identical. If you don’t want to replace light fixtures, you can still get a whole new look if you paint them. Simply remove them, spray paint them, and hang them back up.

With a little time and some elbow grease, you can make your home more stylish and appealing with these DIY home renovations.

Finances – FAQs for First-Time Homebuyers (and a Refresher Course for Others)

new home

Buying your first home can feel like a whirlwind. From open houses to decorating, it is a time filled with a flurry of exciting activities. But it can also be a time of uncertainty. Some of the concepts and terms associated with the home-buying process can be confusing.

Having this information on hand will give you the confidence that you need to navigate the purchase of your first home.

How Much Home Can I Afford?

One of the first decisions you will have to make is to choose the right price range for your new home. The general industry guideline is to spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on your mortgage payment. Mortgage lenders will take this into consideration when deciding how large of a mortgage loan to offer you.

How Does a Mortgage Work?

A mortgage is a loan that can only be used to purchase a home. You can obtain a mortgage from a traditional financial institution or from newer e-loan companies. After you decide how much you can afford for a down payment, your mortgage will cover the remaining cost. You then have an extended period of time (usually 30 years) during which you will make monthly payments towards the balance of the loan.

How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

The conventional advice is to put 20% of your home price towards a down payment to avoid having to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI can cost several hundred dollars per month. If you don’t mind paying PMI, there are mortgage programs available that require as little as zero to 3% of your home’s purchase price for a down payment.

What is PMI?

Most lenders require private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI, if you cannot afford a 20% down payment for your home purchase. PMI protects the mortgage company from losing money if you should default on your loan.

What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are one-time fees that are paid at the closing of your home when the title to your home is transferred to your name. Closing costs can be paid by either the buyer or the seller, depending on what the purchase agreement specifies. Credit reports and title company fees are examples of closing costs.

What Are Property Taxes?

Property taxes are taxes assessed by the county in which you live. They typically range in the rate of 1-2% of your total home price. Property taxes can be paid bi-annually or as part of your monthly mortgage payment if they are escrowed into your payments.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Purchase a Home?

There is no specific minimum credit score required for a mortgage in general. Different lenders and different mortgage programs will set their own minimum acceptable scores. That said, a credit score below 620 is considered to be “poor” and will make it more difficult to secure a mortgage.

Are There Special Mortgages for First-Time Homebuyers?

For first-time homebuyers, there are several different mortgage solutions available. Many lenders offer special loans and grants that can assist with everything from down payments to closing costs.

Buying your first home doesn’t have to be intimidating. Familiarize yourself with these concepts, and you will sail through the process.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Personal Interest – How to Create a Productive Home Office

home office

Working from home is a dream come true for many… Netflix running in the background, the cat relaxing on the windowsill, and a pantry full of snacks. But with so many outside distractions calling for your attention, how can you fully concentrate on work?

One of the keys to enhancing your productivity at home is to set yourself up in the right environment. Creating a productive home office will make it easier for you to spend your day focused and inspired.

Carve Out Your Own Space

Establish your home office in one permanent spot. If you don’t have an actual office, you can create one up in a nook, at an unused table, or even at the end of your kitchen counter. What matters is that you have a set space. As soon as you enter your “office,” it will send a signal to your brain that you are now in work mode. You’ll find it easier to ignore distractions and your productivity will skyrocket.

Gather Your Supplies

What do you need to work productively? Every time you take a break from work and walk away from your home office for another pen or your favorite notebook, you cut into your productivity. So gather your must-have supplies into decorative bins or boxes placed in your office and then leave them there. Stay focused by having everything you need within easy reach.

Drown Out the Noise

It’s next to impossible to concentrate if you are trying to ignore outside sounds. When you choose where to set up your home office, try to find someplace away from the noise. A room with a door that you can shut when you really need quiet time would be ideal.

But if you don’t have an extra room or if there isn’t a truly quiet spot in your home, counter the noise as best as you can. Stream instrumental music or plug in a white-noise machine.

Get Comfortable

There’s nothing more distracting than shifting your weight and adjusting your position every few minutes. Invest in an ergonomic desk chair. These are designed to make even the longest workdays more comfortable. Your neck and back will thank you for it.

Clear the Clutter

Clutter creates a distraction by reminding you of everything else you could be doing. For maximum productivity when you sit down to work, you need to be able to concentrate exclusively on the task at hand. If your workspace is full of other items that need your attention, you will find it more difficult to focus. Clear the clutter to clear your mind.

Make It Welcoming

Brighten up your home office — and your workday — with some simple decor. Plants and greenery make a space seem fresh and natural. A scent diffuser can energize your room (try peppermint, citrus, lavender, or cinnamon for extra calming and productivity benefits). Pictures or motivational quotes can serve as inspiration throughout the day.

It doesn’t take much to turn your home office into the productive workspace of your dreams. You’ll be so happy working from home that you won’t even miss the Starbucks on your morning commute.

Thank you and have a great month!

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Paul Stella