Tag Archives: home

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

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Understanding Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a way to increase the money that you have during your retirement by accessing part of your home’s value in the form of actual money. You can borrow up to a certain percentage of the value of your home, and you won’t have to pay it back in the same way that you would a regular home loan. The only monthly installments involved will be the ones that the lender pays to you, unless you request to borrow a large amount at once. You can pay back a reverse loan whenever you want, as long as you don’t move away.

As soon as you leave, the lender can exercise their right to call in the loan, and they can also sell the home to get their money. But, as long as you plan to stay in your house for a while, a reverse mortgage can provide a much needed financial boost in times of trouble.

Who qualifies for a reverse mortgage? There are certain requirements in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage. An individual must own their home outright. If there is still a mortgage balance owed, it must be low enough that it can be paid off at closing. The homeowner is still required to pay property taxes and insurance, so they must have the finances to do so. The individual must be at least 62 years old or, if there are multiple owners, the youngest must be at least 62 years old.

When does a reverse mortgage become due? The reverse mortgage becomes due when the homeowner sells the house, moves out of the property, or becomes deceased. If there are multiple owners, the mortgage does not become due as long as at least one of them still remains in the home as a primary residence. Once the reverse mortgage is due, the balance of the loan must be paid back within six months.

What happens with the estate? In the event that the homeowner or owners are deceased, beneficiaries of the estate can choose to place the property for sale. If the estate sells for more than the amount of the reverse mortgage, the proceeds become the property of the beneficiaries. Should the house sell for less than the total amount of the reverse mortgage, the lender must take the loss. The debt cannot be passed along to the heirs of the estate.

The estate beneficiaries may, instead, choose to pay back the reverse mortgage in order to retain ownership of the property. In this event, they must pay back any balance remaining on the mortgage. This can be done either by using financial assets or by refinancing the mortgage.

What if I change my mind? If a senior citizen obtains a reverse mortgage and then reconsiders, they have the option of paying back the loan early. Prior to September of 2012, lenders could charge a penalty for repaying the loan prior to term. Since then, penalties for prepayments are illegal. However, lenders may charge other administrative fees for processing the early discharge of the loan.

Reverse mortgage counseling: Deciding if a reverse mortgage is right for you depends on many factors, and consumers need to understand all of the pros and cons. An impartial reverse mortgage counselor can fully explain exactly what the loan entails. This counseling is mandatory in order to protect consumers. Counseling may be done face-to-face or over the phone. After providing counseling, the counselor must sign an HECM Counseling Certificate and mail a copy to the homeowner. The copy is presented to the lender along with the reverse mortgage application.

Let’s be honest, any type of financing when it comes to your home can be confusing. It is always best to handle your affairs with the utmost care and to consider how each of your options, like a reverse mortgage, fits into your current lifestyle.

Featured Image By: Flickr

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Five Satisfying Job Options We Don’t Hear Enough About

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Five Satisfying Job Options We Don’t Hear Enough About

Satisfaction. It’s an important word, which means something different for each of us. For some, it’s getting to the next level on that challenging computer game. For others, it’s saving lives on a daily basis.

In all its forms, satisfaction is valid and important. When it comes down to it, it’s often the thing with which we judge our lives. When we look back on each year, we consider how much we have achieved. When we look back on our lives, many of us wonder how much of an impact our actions have had.

It’s no surprise, then, that many people look for jobs which bring bucket loads of satisfaction. Despite care work not being the best-paid job in the world, many people seek it out. If nothing else, that’s a true testament to how important we consider satisfaction in our lives. For some of us, though, the care industry isn’t the right path. It takes a lot of patience and inner strength to get along in a career like this. As such, it’s not going to suit everyone.

But, not wanting to care for others shouldn’t put an end to your dreams of job satisfaction. In fact, there are plenty of other jobs which can bring just as much joy. We may not hear about them often, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there. To give you some idea of your options, we’re going to look at a few here:

Working With Children: What could be more satisfying than having an impact on future generations? While teachers may not get the same credit as, say, doctors, they definitely deserve to. These are the people who are shaping young minds. Many big ideas for the future will be planted in today’s classrooms.

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Cute!

If you don’t fancy the classroom, why not consider social work? Again, you’ll be having an enormous impact on the futures of kids. You’ll get the opportunity to form real bonds with the children you work with. It’s no easy task, though, as you’ll also have to decide when you separate families. To go down this route, you would also need to get the right qualifications. But, with options like online master’s social work courses, there’s no reason why you can’t get going. A job worth caring about is worth working for.

These are by no means the only options when it comes to kids, either. You could also opt for something like youth club supervision or pre-school work. The satisfaction will be there, but you won’t have to return to study to achieve it.

Working With Animals: They say don’t work with children or animals, and we’ve broken both of those rules already. But, if you have a soft spot for four-legged friends, an animal option could be the career for you. In many ways, this is like a care job. If anything, the satisfaction levels could be higher because fewer people consider it.

Again, there are a few different options. At the extreme end of the scale, you could become a vet. Bear in mind, though, that veterinary studies are extensive and will take a long time to complete. As an excellent alternative, you could always work as a veterinary receptionist. You’ll still get the chance to give advice and make a difference, but you don’t need qualifications to do so.

Or, you could opt to work in a rescue center. These jobs are often hard to come by, but making a difference to unwanted animals is about as good as it gets. If you manage to work your way to the top, you’ll be going into some nasty situations. There’s no denying that it can be traumatic, but you’ll be able to remove animals by working with the police. A good way to start would be to volunteer. This in itself will help your quest, and, if they like what they see, big things may follow.

Last, but by no means least, you could work as a conservationist in a zoo. Here, you’ll be working hard to breed and reintroduce animals into the wild. Not only does this help the animals themselves, but also the planet as a whole. Go get ‘em, tiger!

five1I NEED this bunny!!

Get Artsy: How about trying your hand at an artistic pursuit? Artists often get a bad rep and, let’s be honest; it’s one of the hardest careers to make a go in. But, the satisfaction stakes here are high, because many of us measure our overall satisfaction based on the mark we leave. And, nothing’s quite so good at making a mark as art in all of its forms.

Of course, your artistic pursuit can be whatever you want it to be. Have you been songwriting for years in private? Do you have a secret skill with paint that no one’s seen since school? Whatever your strength, it’s time to take it out of the closet. The majority of us have some creative outlet we could put to use and there’s no better time than the present to use it!

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Pixabay Image

Open A Restaurant: Who would have thought that a restaurant would find its way onto the most satisfying jobs list? We did, which is why it’s here! Owning a restaurant may not be up there with saving lives. But, its place on this list is well deserved and here’s why:

Life is stressful. Work gets on top of us, and there’s rarely a respite. Even when we’re at home, we’re often thinking about what we need to do the next day. It never ends. Unless you don’t head home after work. You get dressed up and go out to eat. Finally, you can enjoy yourself and relax. There’s no worries, no pressures, and best of all, no washing up!

If we didn’t have restaurants to escape to, the world would be a much darker place. We joke, but it’s true. Everyone needs an escape and someone needs to create it. Let that person be you by opening up a restaurant.

In a way, the artistic aspect comes into play here, too. Because it’s not just enough to open any old space and serve food. You need to leave your mark by creating a beautiful place to spend time in. You’ll need to get everything right, from the decor to the ambience and the food. Are you convinced yet? Good. You should be.

five3And who DOESN’T love eating?!

Reasonable Real Estate: When you think about it, it’s baffling that real-estate doesn’t appear on more satisfying jobs lists. What could be better than knowing you’ve put roofs over people’s heads when they needed them most? You may not be restarting their heart with your bare hands, but you’re ensuring that they have a high quality of life. At least, you could be.

Unlike the other jobs mentioned, the satisfaction involved depends completely on you. If you become a bad landlord, you won’t see the rewards. You won’t be able to rest easy if you’re overcharging or failing to fix issues. In fact, the plan will backfire in a major way. Sure, you’ll make more money. But satisfaction isn’t about money, remember?

Instead, you need to do things right. Offer as reasonable a price as possible so that you give more people a chance to get a place. Make sure that you’re a reliable contact, by answering any queries as soon as humanly possible. And, make sure to pay for repairs the moment they need doing. It’s all simple stuff and that’s all it takes to make real-estate a satisfying option. Give it a go and see where it gets you!

So, there are a few of your options. As you can see, they all have their benefits, even if you wouldn’t have assumed them to be satisfying. And these aren’t the only unexpectedly satisfying careers. You can make a difference in any number of ways if you know how!

The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

It’s never something we would like to think that would affect any of us, but with the rise of inclement weather all over the world, it seems more and more likely with every passing year that your home will be involved in some kind of disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, earthquake, or a fire, it is a terrible situation to be in. But what happens after the event to your home and to you personally? Let’s try and address the issues about how to repair all the damage after a disaster.

The First Thing To Do:

The first sort of call when it comes to a disaster happening to your home, once everybody is safe, is to get in contact with your insurance company and file a claim. Depending on whether you are renting your home or not, you would still need to make a claim based on the damage to your property or your worldly possessions. It’s your prerogative at the start whether you would want to use a loss adjuster to deal with the entire process of the claim, which could help with the buildings insurance, contents insurance, as well as providing emergency accommodation. And the sooner you are able to engage with one, the bigger the burden they can remove from your shoulders. Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will undertake a fact-finding mission throughout your property, and based on the circumstances of the claim, forensic specialists may be called to undertake an investigation, especially if this was a house fire to determine the cause.

The Next Steps:

Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will submit a report to the insurance company based on the circumstances surrounding the disaster and they will also recommend whether the insurer should pay your claim or not. They will make a decision on whether the policy you have is sufficient enough to cover the damage, which is a big problem a lot of policyholders have, being “underinsured”. From there, the emergency contractors will be appointed to carry out any works that are urgent, and this could include water damage restoration companies, which will provide their own investigation into the causes. If you have issues in your home with things like running water, they will provide a restoration plan for you.

Other companies may weatherproof your property or make your home more secure by boarding up the windows or covering the roof. It’s important to note that the insurers might not pay for this work until the claim has been processed, so it would be your responsibility in the meantime to prevent additional damage to your property. After this, the surveyor will assess the overall damage to your property and put together a plan for the reinstatement of it.

The Contents Claim:

If your home was very badly damaged and all of your possessions have been destroyed, it’s important for you to make a detailed list of all of your contents including the cost for replacements. A lot of insurance companies act on a “like for like” basis. But if you are claiming for things like clothes and bedding, they are replaced on what is called an indemnity basis, meaning that there will be a reduction in their value based on the wear and tear of your original items. And if you’ve got a lot of high-end items such as electronic equipment or designer clothes, you need to provide the proof, the makes, models, etc., before the insurance company will accept the claim completely.

The Personal Impact:

As it would be expected, the process of dealing with loss adjusters and the insurance company can be a trying one, especially if you are without a home. During the process, you will be in temporary accommodation, and this could be the emergency accommodation provided at the outset of the disaster. After that, you would have to find long-term temporary accommodation that suits you and your family during the restoration of the property. This can be difficult to acquire, especially if you have a big family or have pets.

It’s at this point where the stress can get the better of you, as you’re not in your own home. During your dealings with the insurance company, you may feel like you’re being passed from pillar to post, but this is a fact of the situation, unfortunately. If your claim is in limbo, it can take some time. And during your negotiation with a loss adjuster, you may not get everything that you wish in terms of suitable emergency accommodation, as you need to agree on a budget with the loss adjuster.

The Final Pieces Of The Puzzle:

Once the ball has been rolling after the tense negotiations, the process of tendering will begin. At this point, the contractors will be appointed to do the work on your home. The contractors are usually specialist ones appointed by the insurance company, but if you want to use your own contractors, you need to be careful with your choice as there are many out there who may not have a good track record. It is at this point where the surveyor will meet with the contractors to solidify the final parts of the work, which will progress until your home is fully restored. It’s important to note that at this point, you may wish to make some alterations to your home, pending the approval of the surveyor. After this, your contents claim would be agreed, items are secured, and you can return home.

While we all hope that it doesn’t happen to us, it’s important that if your home suffers from any type of disaster that you have the right policies in place. If you don’t have any insurance, it is recommended that you get something for peace of mind. If your home is ever going to suffer a disaster, with the right insurance policies in place you know you can, at least, rebuild your life.

Featured Image By: Wikipedia

How To Create An Aromatic Atmosphere In Your Home

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How To Create An Aromatic Atmosphere In Your Home

There’s a lot that can be determined about a home based solely on the smell of it. You can tell if kids are present or not, if the owner likes to bake in their spare time, how often they clean, and what products they are partial to to get it smelling the way that they want. Our sense of smell is a powerful tool. It lets us know if something is bad or good, but also helps to take us back in time to a nostalgic point that we associate with certain scents, bringing back memories that we want to indulge ourselves in or would otherwise wish to forget. So, in essence, it’s quite an important thing to get right in your home; to help us feel safe, to feel comfortable, and happy with where we live.

Eliminate The Bad Odors: It can be particularly hard to pinpoint a scent if you don’t know where it’s coming from. A lot of offensive odors aren’t immediately obvious to us because they’ve had to take time to develop to get to what you’re smelling – so they often aren’t within our sight or a place that we can easily reach. One prime example is a toilet; a lot of odors are stopped within a plumbing trap, but if it’s defective or there is something else wrong in the system, then it can be hard to get to the source of the problem; there is more information about different types of plumbing traps at http://theplumbinginfo.com/plumbing-traps/ to give you more of an idea as to what can be done to solve the problem.

Just fixing this one issue could completely get rid of the smell that was causing the disruption to your home. This is just one example, so try and think outside of the box when it comes to narrowing down where a smell is coming from, especially when there are pipes involved. Always hire a professional to come and deal with the problem at hand so as not to create more work for yourself.

Focus On Your Favorites: Think of your favorite scent; the one that makes you happy but would also appeal to others who are visiting your home. It’s this that you need to aim for and spread around your house. It’s available to do in a lot of different forms; candles, wax melts, air fresheners, and so much more, so there really is no excuse not to have some on hand to give you that extra boost. There are a good selection of different smells for you to peruse at https://yankeecandle.com that aren’t just limited to candles, so you don’t have to worry about the safety aspects of ensuring that a flame is correctly put out in order to get your home smelling amazing.

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Candles are a must!

Consider Your Hygiene: Unpleasant smells are more likely to jump out at you than nice ones, but often our noses are trained to accept them if we don’t deal with it straight away. It may take a good time away from our home to realize that that’s what our abode actually smells like to other people, so it’s always important to keep on top of a good cleaning routine in order to ensure that you are keeping the space that you live in not just smelling good, but hygienic for you. There are certain things around the house which trap odors within the fibers, such as carpets, rugs, and curtains, so it’s imperative that you are keeping on top of the cleaning of these items. That way, you are ensuring that you are removing any staleness that may be clinging on as well as caring for your fabrics.

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Lather up!

Mental Health: There are certain scents that have been proven to relieve stress and anxiety that you may be feeling. It’s been long said that lavender helps you to relax and drift off to sleep more easily, so why aren’t we using this knowledge in other rooms of our home? Vanilla candles are the most common scented ones that you can buy, and these have been cited to help put us in a better mood and even combat some pain signals that are being sent around our body. There’s never been a more important reason to get your home smelling nice and fresh, if it’s impacting your health directly!

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Beach scents are also very popular!

Focusing on the scent of your home will make for breathing easy for your family and guests!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Bathroom Upgrades That Will Help Sell Your House

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Bathroom Upgrades That Will Help Sell Your House

If you are in the process of selling your home, you will probably be exploring the possibility of making a few upgrades. This is an effective way to ensure that your house sells quickly and at the price which you are asking. One of the rooms that you should definitely place a lot of attention on is your bathroom. THE THRONE ROOM! Here are some suggestions on how to make your salle de bain the best ever:

Add an ottoman or stool: By adding a stunning piece of decor that is also functional, you create the ultimate private hotel suite look. Why not put a stool beside the bathtub? You can add a potted plant, candle, or some hand towels to complete the look. Another option is to go for a long ottoman or a marble side table. Nothing says “luxury” like a gorgeous piece of furniture to drape your clothes on!

Buy a new toilet: Let’s face it, who really wants to use a toilet that countless other people have been using for many years? NO ONE. Upgrading your toilet can make your bathroom look new, and it will create a good impression on anyone that is interested in buying your home. Toto Toilets are good because they offer quality, as well as a versatile style selection. But we suggest playing it safe – not many people are going to want a bright red toilet!

Change your counter tops: A lot of people assume that changing their counter tops is going to be an expensive job. However, it is something that you can do yourself. DIY faux marble counter tops will cost you less than $100, yet they will look like they have cost a small fortune. This is a great way to give your bathroom a glam update without breaking the bank.

Flower frenzy: It is amazing how much of a difference that some fresh flowers can make. Fresh plants and flowers will make your bathroom come alive, adding instant texture and color. Plus, they improve the air quality in the room, making it much more welcoming when your viewers look around. There are many different styles of plants and flowers to choose from, but lush purple orchids work especially well in bathrooms.

Stick with neutrals: If you are going to invest in new cabinets, upgrade your tiles, or repaint your walls, it is always wise to stick with a neutral palette for these elements. This will appeal to buyers, because they want to imagine living there, which can be hard to do if you choose a vibrant color that is not suited to their taste. If you do want to add some color to the room, it is best to do it via the likes of accessories and towels.

Clean thoroughly: Last but not least, the importance of cleaning thoroughly should not be understated. Giving your bathroom a quick wipe over will not suffice. You need to ensure that every inch of the room is spotless – even the corners that you don’t think your home viewers will see. A sparkling bathroom gives the impression that your home has been well loved and maintained during your time there.

Bathrooms are where luxury and smart decor is key. Use the tips above to make your home fly off of the market in no time!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Rent VS Own: Comparing The Costs

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Rent VS Own: Comparing The Costs

Some people can spend a long time wondering whether it’s better to rent or own your home. While many people have a strong opinion one way or the other, others think that different things are right for different people. It’s ultimately a personal decision whether you think renting or owning is best. Many people change their minds at different points in their lives. Renting can be more flexible, but owning can be more secure. Some people see renting as throwing money away, but if you get a mortgage, the property doesn’t exactly belong to you, either. Working out costs can help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Rent VS Mortgage: The major living expense for most people is the cost of their rent or their mortgage payments. The cost of renting can vary widely, depending on where you live. Some people can spend a third or even half of their income on rent, but others will pay much less. Working out how much you might spend on your own home is easy to do. If you use a house loan calculator, you can work out how much your payments might be. Some people might discover that mortgage payments could end up being less than what they pay in rent in the long run.

Bills & Insurance: Whether you rent or buy, you still have to pay bills. However, if you rent a room or property, your bills could be included in your rent. If you buy a home, you will always be responsible for your bills. This does mean that you have more control over them, though. It’s easier for you to change energy suppliers, for example. Another cost to consider is insurance. As a homeowner, you need to insure the property and its contents. But as a renter, it’s still a good idea to have renter’s insurance. Although the expenses are similar, the amount you pay could be very different.

Property Maintenance: As a tenant, maintenance of the property is usually the responsibility of your landlord. There might be some things that you’re required to do to keep it looking good, but major work isn’t normally up to you. But, as a homeowner, you need to pay for anything that needs to be fixed. And if you belong to an HOA, that could mean a lot of maintenance. Property maintenance is one of the things that can potentially make owning your home more expensive than renting.

The Cost of Moving: Another thing to consider is the costs of moving home. If you own your home, you’re likely to move less often. It’s up to you when you move, unless you can no longer afford to keep your home. But if you do decide to sell and move, it could be very expensive. Of course, moving as a renter costs money, too. You might have to pay a security deposit, first month’s rent, agency fees, and moving fees, plus you could move a lot more often.

Owning a home is often more expensive than renting, but many people prefer it. If you’re trying to decide which is right for you, look at the pros and cons of each and make the choice most suited to your current lifestyle.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home

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Sick Of Stuff? Smart Solutions For A Clutter-Free Home

Is there stuff everywhere you look in your home? Are you tired of tidying up only to find that the house looks like a bombsite the day after? If so, you’re not alone. If you’ve got a guest room packed full of boxes or your bedroom furniture is constantly draped in clothes, here are some smart solutions for a clutter-free home:

Out With The Old:

Before you attempt to tidy or take a trip to the store to look for storage units for sale, unleash your inner ruthless streak and have a clear out. If you haven’t got space to store everything, there’s absolutely no point in keeping things that you haven’t even seen for years. If you’ve got an attic full of clothes and toys that the kids have grown out of, a collection of old TVs or game consoles gathering dust in the garage, or your shelves are packed with video games, books, or DVDs that you don’t want anymore, then now is the time to get rid of it. If you’ve got items that are in sell-able condition, consider listing them on auction sites or host a yard sale. You could also put a bag together and donate it to charity.

Storage, Storage, Storage:

If you’ve got shoes lying around the bedroom, clothes draped over chairs, or toys strewn all over the living room floor, investing in storage will change your life. It’s so easy to accumulate stuff and, before you know it, you’ve run out of room to keep it tidy. Buy boxes and crates to store toys and look into buying a second-hand chest or wardrobe if your closet is bursting at the seams. You could also use a clothes rail to save space or put a shoe rack in the bottom of your wardrobe. If you’re limited when it comes to floor space, make use of the walls. You can fit units and hang shelves to store everything from jars, containers, and plates in the kitchen to ornaments, photo frames, and books in the living room.

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 Cleanliness is godliness!

Daily Chores:

It’s so much easier to keep on top of clutter when you make an effort to tidy up after yourself on a daily basis. It takes five minutes to run around and put everything back in its rightful place at the end of the day. If you do this, you’ll save yourself from wasting hours on the weekend trying to tackle massive piles of stuff when you should be putting your feet up and enjoying a well-earned rest.

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That high ceiling!!

Clutter is a major bugaboo for most homeowners. It can make it virtually impossible to find things and it can contribute to stress and make it hard to keep the home clean and tidy. If you’ve got too much stuff, tackle this problem now. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Have a clear out, get rid of anything that you don’t want, and start organizing each room. Buy storage boxes and containers, hang some shelves, and look at furniture options with added storage. Have a quick tidy at the end of the day, and you should find it much easier to keep the clutter monster at bay for good!

Featured Image By: Flickr