Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/16/2018

Just as you would take certain precautions in your home if you had a new baby, you should take the same measures when you have a new dog. Without taking some steps to make your home safer for your pets, serious consequences could be suffered. Your dog could have access to things that could harm him like medicines, chemicals, and other hazardous substances. Save your pet and save on unnecessary vet bills by doing your part to keep your dog safe. A few simple precautions can go along way. The same devices that are used to protect children can be used to protect your dog as well. The best part is that theyíre easy to install and fairly inexpensive. Some of your options are:


  • Baby gates
  • Electrical outlet covers
  • Covers for power strips
  • Safety locks for cabinets
  • A device to contain electrical cords


Thereís other specific precautions that you can take to keep your dog safe and out of trouble: 


Get A Dog Proof Trashcan


Most dogs love to rummage around in the trash. Theyíre searching for food, of course! If your dog can knock over the trashcan or jump to get the lid off the can, theyíll have access to the trash. Pull-out trashcans are probably your best option. If you canít install this type of trash receptacle in your home, think about elevating the trashcan on something like a step stool. It could be multi-purpose for both storage and safety.


Limit The Dogís Access


When youíre not home, close the doors to bathrooms and bedrooms. This way, the dog cannot get into different rooms and destroy anything or eat anything that heís not supposed to.  


Clutter Is A Danger


If you have a dog that is bound to chew things, youíll want to put everything away in its place. If your shoes are put away, the dog wonít have easy access to chew them. When chemicals are kept in the cabinets, the dog wonít have access to dangerous things. Not only will putting your things away help you to stay organized, it will keep your pet safer too!


Keep Your Dog From Mischief


If a dog is left alone in an empty house, they have an opportunity to get into a lot of trouble. Youíve probably heard stories from friends where dogs have destroyed furniture, books, and other valuable things. If you keep your dog in a crate while youíre gone for long periods, theyíll learn their boundaries and stay out of trouble while youíre away. 


Dogs are a part of the family too! Itís important to do what you can to keep them safe in your home.




Tags: Dog safety   Dog Lovers   dogs  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/9/2018

House hunting can be enjoyable but becomes overwhelming pretty quickly. After looking at many different houses, they can all start to look the same. Itís hard to remember what homes had what features. In order to make a right decision on which home to make an offer on, youíll need to remember the details of each house. Read on for tips to help you house hunt like a pro.


Keep Track Of The Homes You Have Looked At


Whether youíre doing simple online searches or touring open houses, itís easy for your mind to get jumbled as to what you have seen. Itís a good idea to keep a record of homes with their addresses as to where they are located, the color of the house, and the desirable features contained within the home. This way, you can have an overall picture of what you want. 


Know What Features Are Important 


You should make a list of everything youíre looking for in a home before you even start searching. Include things like:


  • The price range
  • How big of a house youíre looking for
  • How many bedrooms
  • How many bathrooms
  • Additional features like walk-in closets
  • Eat-in kitchen or dining room
  • What type of home youíre looking for
  • How many stories you want the home to be



You can then branch off from the essentials on the list adding other desirable features in a property like a pool, a jacuzzi, a large backyard, or a fireplace. Then, you should make a list prioritizing what is the most important to you in your home search. Things like the number of bedrooms and the size of the home will be a higher priority than a jacuzzi tub. 


Look At Your Commute


One of the most significant factors in finding a home is how far it is from your workplace. The closer you are to work, the less stressful your life will be. If you take the train or a bus to work, it may be easier to live close to a station or stop. On the flip side, to be closer to work what are you sacrificing? Are you close to schools, parks, stores, and other regularly visited spots? See what locations suit your lifestyle.


Review What Youíve Looked At

Once you have done your research and decided what you need and want, itís time to make comparisons. Look at the prices of each home and see what they have to offer for the money. Once you decide the price and amenities are on par with your original wishlist, the house is a good candidate to put an offer on.             






Posted by Sandra Tessier on 1/2/2018

One decorating principle thatís a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that youíll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, youíll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them. 


Ambient Lighting


Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.


Accent Lighting 


If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, youíll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use. 


Task Lighting


This type of lighting is important because itís what ensures that you wonít chop your hand off while youíre chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When youíre trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.  


Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.            





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 12/26/2017

You may have heard of private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI, but youíre probably not sure what exactly it is. If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, then youíll need to pay for this additional insurance in order to secure a loan for the home. This type of policy protects the lender if you end up in a foreclosure situation. This way, the lender is assured that they will not lose money. 


Private mortgage insurance is also required if you refinance your home when it has accrued to less than 20% equity. Again, this protects the lender from losing money if the loan is defaulted on. 


Fees


The fees involved with private mortgage insurance can range based on a few factors including the actual size of the down payment and your credit score. You can expect the cost of the insurance to be somewhere between 0.3% and 1.5% of the loan amount per year. The PMI premiums are tax deductible some years and other years they are not. It really all depends upon the state of the government and what they have enacted for the particular fiscal year. Private mortgage insurance premiums can be paid either monthly or with a large payment upfront, although most policies will require the borrower to pay on a monthly basis.    


This Insurance Can Be Canceled


The lender will automatically cancel your PMI once the loan drops down to 78% of the homeís value. For this reason, youíll want to keep track of your payments in order to see how far away you are from shedding this monthly fee. When your loan is paid down to 80% of the homeís original value, you have the right to ask your lender to discontinue to insurance premium payments.


What Is The Loan-To-Value Ratio?


This ratio is the amount of mortgage debt in the form a percentage based on how much the home is worth. Itís calculated by the following formula:


Amount owed on the mortgage/Appraised value


This is an important factor when it comes to matters of PMI insurance, as itís how the required loan payment percentages are calculated. If a home is worth $100,000 and $80,000 is still owed on the home, the loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent. This means the borrower can request the insurance be cancelled.      


FHA Loans Have Different Requirements


If you secure an FHA loan, they require the payment of PMI premiums for the entire life of the loan. You canít exactly cancel these insurance payments but you can refinance the loan in order get rid of the insurance. This means that you will no longer have an FHA loan.           


Private mortgage insurance can be a nuisance, however as a first-time homebuyer with little capital, the fees may be worth it when youíre able to secure your first home.




Tags: Mortgage   pmi   what is pmi  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 12/19/2017

The daily commute can be a daily grind. What if you could commute and get a workout in at the same time? You can if you take on the task of commuting by bicycle. Whether youíre established in your current neighborhood or searching for a new home, you should always consider your location in relationship to your work in addition to your preferred mode of transportation. Especially in regions where the weather is nice the whole year through, youíll want to check on your options for commuting by bike. Below, youíll find some tips that can make commuting to work by bicycle from your home a bit easier. 


Plan Ahead


Depending on weather conditions, youíll need to plan ahead. If you have a longer commute, youíll most likely need to bring a change of clothes to work. You donít want to spend an entire day at the office in sweaty, smelly clothes. If you need to dress professionally, you should plan to bring clothing that wonít wrinkle easily. Also keep some items to help you freshen up in your work bag including deodorant and wipes. As temperatures get warmer throughout the year, this will become ever important. If the weather looks like it might rain, you might want to bring additional gear or just skip the commute by bike altogether on those days. You can even store some spare clothing or toiletries in your desk in case you forget to pack something one day.  


Have A Space To Keep Your Bike


Both at home and at work, youíll need to find a spot to keep your bike. Itís important to find a place where the bike will be secure and is able to be locked down. Depending upon the type of area you work in, youíd hate to ride to work on your bike only to find out that when youíre ready to return home your bike has been stolen. Your bicycle should also have a convenient location where you can store it around your home as well. 


Keep In Mind That You Still Could Encounter Problems


Even though youíre riding a bike and not driving a car, you can still encounter problems on your ride to and from work. Hit one bump the wrong way and youíll end up with a flat tire. This means that youíll need to have a kit ready in case of any kind of issues that you encounter during your commute. Keep this commuter kit with your work things so that you donít need to worry about where the spare tubes and bicycle pump are. 


When you choose a commuter friendly neighborhood, youíll be surprised at how much fun and how easy commuting to and from work by bicycle can be. Just heed some convenience and safety tips and youíll be well on your way to a good workout to and from work.      





Tags: commute   bicycle  
Categories: Uncategorized