Janet Murray's Blog
Ever have one of those random mornings that everything goes wrong? Worst of all, everyone in the house managed to get ahead of you into the shower and now there's no more hot water. Ugh!
You demand hot water! At least, you'd like to. And you can make demands with an on-demand hot water system.
On-demand Tankless Water Heater
Long used in Europe and other parts of the world, on-demand water heating units typically heat water at that the time the tap turns on rather than heating a tank full of water. According to Energy.gov, an instantaneous-type water heater avoids standby energy losses associated with tank storage water heaters. That can save you money on utilities over time.
Here’s how it works: Tankless water heaters heat the cold water running through the pipe and into the unit. Either electric or gas, the units supply constant hot water as long as the tap is open. And since you don’t need to wait for a tank to fill up, the last person to get in the shower receives the same amount of hot water as the first person.
There are limitations, however, that have to do with the rate of flow. A typical tankless unit will provide between two and five gallons per minute, so if you're used to more water pressure, you might be disappointed. Also, if you install one central until to heat water for the entire home, you'll find this limitation is problematic when running both the dishwasher and the shower or filling a tub at the same time you're washing a load of clothes on hot. To overcome this limitation, install more than one unit in parallel or install several at the point of use: so, place one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room and one in the kitchen.
Point of Use Water Heaters Tank
Another option that works for small amounts of instant hot water, such as to fill a kitchen sink for dishes, is a point-of-use water tank. These are small tanks that hold between two and five gallons, placed on the hot water line near to where you might use them. A two-gallon might work under the kitchen sink so that water for rinsing is available immediately. A larger version, say a five-gallon unit, might go inline to your washer in the laundry room if you need to wash in hot water on a consistent basis.
An advantage of these tanks is that the water is available in the location you need it most, while still being in-line with your main household water tank. The distinct disadvantage is that if you need more hot water than the tank holds, you must wait for it to arrive from the household unit anyway.
Either one might be just the perfect solution for you. Contact a certified installer to give you an idea of your options. And check with your local real estate professional to see how adding one of these units can increase your home’s value.
If you’re like many families, you never seem to have quite enough space for each family member to spread out. To stay within your budget, or maybe to create a more close-knit family you have two or more children sharing a room. As time goes on sharing personal space can create rifts between siblings. To avoid added stress and tension consider employing some shared space solutions to help your family members establish their own space, even in a shared room. Here are some divided ideas to get you started.
Mirroring setup – A simple solution is to just split the room right down the middle. Create mirroring layouts on either side of a shared dresser or desk-space and allow each child to spread out on their half.
Curtain Wall — You can also divide the room with an actual curtain or screen. A weighted curtain hanging through the center serves as a visual barrier and helps create a sound barrier as well.
Lofted bed — Purchase a pair of lofted beds with built-in desk space underneath. Each child can build out their area and have a place to go that is entirely their own. As children age, you can even install curtains across the bottom of the loft to give them more privacy.
Divide the closet — Children commonly fight about a sibling's belongings finding their way into their space. This issue is especially true when it comes to closet space. Make sure you establish a separation of closet and storage space (and bathroom if they're sharing one) to help your kids protect their belongings and feel that their stuff is indeed theirs.
Wireless Headphones — Without purchasing furniture or shelving, you can give your kids a sense of personal space by merely providing them with a way to block out the activities of other family members. Get each of your children a pair of wireless headphones so they can enjoy their music, audio-book or phone entertainment without disturbing each other.
Hold Children Accountable for their space. Separately. — Your daughters might share a room, but both may not be equally at fault for the clutter or lack of cleanliness. A benefit of delineating a separation between their spaces is that it helps you see what each of them is doing, individually. Hold the messy child responsible for their half of the room and positively reinforce the child who is completing their chores.
Though they might think it so, children to do not need their own rooms to be happy. Learning to share smaller spaces can help your family grow closer. You have to learn more about each other, pay attention to preferences and pet peeves and generally learn to give and take on a more regular basis. Start your kids on the right path to personal growth and family unity by establishing their individual areas and responsibility versus shared family space.
As a homebuyer, you likely want to do everything you can to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Yet problems may arise that hamper your homebuying aspirations. Lucky for you, we're here to help you analyze the property buying journey and ensure you can avoid complications along the way.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can minimize the risk of problems as you search for your dream residence.
1. Learn About the Homebuying Journey
There is nothing quite like buying a home. As such, you'll want to do whatever you can to prepare for the property buying journey to ensure you can limit the risk of encountering potential pitfalls.
Oftentimes, it helps to review housing market data related to residences in your preferred cities and towns. This information can help you assess the prices of available houses in your area and find out how long residences typically stay available before they sell. Plus, this housing market data may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market.
You also should establish realistic homebuying expectations before you enter the real estate market. In some instances, homebuyers require many weeks or months to find the perfect residence. But if you set realistic expectations for the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than ever before to overcome myriad property buying challenges.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage is essential for most homebuyers. If you secure a mortgage before you start your home search, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your home search accordingly.
It generally won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage, either. If you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
There is no telling what may happen as you pursue your dream residence. However, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to prepare for any homebuying challenges that might come your way.
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you craft a homebuying strategy, as well as respond to your homebuying concerns and questions. Furthermore, a real estate agent will maintain constant communication with you to ensure you can get the homebuying support you need, exactly when you need it.
For homebuyers who want to minimize complications, hiring a real estate agent is crucial. This housing market professional will set up home showings, help you analyze properties and enable you to submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And as your home closing day approaches, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your house purchase.
Ready to buy a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the property buying cycle.
As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a "persistent" homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.
A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer's requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.
So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Understand the Housing Market
Are a homebuyer's requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer's demands and proceed accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house's price rates against the competition.
Also, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you're operating in a seller's or buyer's market.
2. Stand Your Ground
A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.
For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.
Ultimately, declining a homebuyer's requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you're probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.
A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.
Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.
You know when you buy a home that your credit score matters, but do you see all of the numbers that matter to your financial picture when you’re buying a home? Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the most critical figures that will influence if you can get a mortgage and what type of rate you can get.
What Is A Debt-To-Income Ratio?
This number is exactly what it states: the ratio of debt divided by your gross monthly income. Your credit report doesn't include any of this income information. This number is actually the best way to see if you’re living within your means or not. This way, your lender will know your monthly debt payments along with your monthly income.
If your ratio of debt is high, you may not get a loan or get less desirable interest rates than if you had lower amounts of debt. Even if you have a high credit score, your debt-to-income ratio could affect these things. In reality, a higher debt ratio will make it harder for you to pay back your debt, so it’s important to you.
How It’s Calculated
You can use an online tool to help you calculate your debt-to-income ratio. You can also use a simple formula if you’re up for doing some math yourself:
Divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income then multiply that number by 100. For example:
Student loans: $400
Car loan: $300
1400/4000= 0.35 x 100= 35%
You should also be aware of something called your household ratio. The household is the amount of home-related expenses which includes property taxes, prospective mortgage, home insurance, and more. These costs are divided by your monthly income to get this ratio as well. Obviously, your household debt adds to your financial commitments and is also put into consideration by your lender.
What’s A Good Debt-To-Income Ratio?
It’s ideal that you keep your ratio less than 36%. Your household ratio should be even lower than this. It’s great to be debt free, but in the real world, that’s not always possible. Your best bet is to be responsible with your finances and work on paying your debt down as much as you can. Then, little by little all of the critical numbers that are required to get a mortgage will fall into place.