Bill Aibel's Blog
You’ve probably heard how important it is to go hands-free in your car, but it can be just as important and useful to be hands-free in the kitchen. If you’re busy washing dishes or prepping for dinner, you can use hands free devices to do everything from answering calls to looking up recipes and preheating the oven. While kitchen appliances haven’t progressed to the point of actually making dinner for you, they can definitely help cut down on the mess.
Top Hands-Free Choices
- Touchless Trash Can – while a foot pedal trash can is a bit cheaper and takes care of most of the same issues, germs can still build up on the pedal itself. A true touchless trashcan has a motion sensor and opens when you wave your hand in front of it like a touchless hand dryer. Some are even smart enough to hook up to your tablet or phone with an app that accepts voice commands.
- Hands-Free Paper Towel Dispenser – Most of the time, when you need a paper towel, your hands are already wet or messy. That means you leave those germs or water on the side of your dispenser each time you grab a paper towel. An easy fix is a hands-free paper towel dispenser that pushes a towel towards you on command. This helps reduce your paper towel waste as well as keeping your kitchen cleaner.
- Motion Sensor Faucet – You can have a sink faucet in your home with the same technology you find in public bathrooms. That means no chicken goo or frosting gets left on the handles. Wi-Fi Appliances – A wide variety of kitchen appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens are now available in versions that connect over Wi-Fi to your other devices. That often means you can now control them with voice commands. Ever been partially through your prep work and realize you forgot to pre-heat the oven? Instead of taking the time and water to wash your hands, turn on the oven, then get back to work, you can just say “preheat oven to 400 degrees” and get on with what you were doing.
Smart appliances are a great selling point for a new home, and the small difference in cost can make a big difference in home value. Talk to your real estate agent today to help figure out what the best options are before you invest in that new smart kitchen.
There are a number of steps involved in buying a home. One of the many important things you should do before closing on a new home is to get the house properly inspected.
Buyers sometimes avoid getting a professional inspection for a number of reasons. Some are on a tight budget and want to save a few dollars. Others have time constraints and want to close as soon as possible. And, many buyers believe that omitting an inspection is a way to show trust in the previous owner.
In this article, we’ll talk about why getting a home inspection is such an important part before closing on a real estate deal.
Closing on a home comes with a number of expenses. Application fees, origination fees, underwriting fees… the list goes on. If you’re buying a home, you might be tempted to opt out of getting the property inspected to save money.
The cost of an inspection ranges anywhere from $200 for smaller homes, to $400 or more for large homes. However, the cost of not getting your home inspected can be much greater. Even if you’re knowledgeable when it comes to houses, there are a number of things that only the experts can diagnose.
Having a professional inspect the home is the only way to ensure that there aren’t any issues that will come back to haunt you (and your wallet) in the months and years to come.
Many buyers are eager to close the deal and begin moving into their new home as soon as possible. Sometimes buyers need to vacate their old home before a certain date, others try to time their move around holidays or school vacations.
There are other ways, however, to make sure you get the house inspected in time. First, make sure you’ve included a home inspection in your purchase agreement. This will avoid wasted times debating whether or not you are entitled to inspect the home.
Next, call multiple inspectors in your area for quotes and availability. Delaying this step can make you lose time, and inspectors might charge you more if they have to squeeze you into their schedule.
The best time to schedule an inspection is as soon as your offer is accepted.
Maintaining a good relationship with the seller
It may seem like an act of diplomacy to waive a home inspection. In reality, however, nearly all sellers will understand that you are simply doing due diligence to make sure the process runs smoothly for both of you.
Sellers might sometimes offer you the findings of a previous inspection that they had done. In this case, it’s still important to have your own inspection done so that you can walk through the home with the inspector and listen to their feedback. You can’t be sure of the accuracy of any old reports, and the previous inspector is only accountable to the seller.
Having a home professionally inspected is almost always a good idea. It can save you time and money in repairs that could have been avoided.
Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.
It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.
Straighten out your credit
If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.
Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing interest at the same time.
Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals
A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.
Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.
Rethink your insurance coverage
Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.
Automate the headaches away
With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.
First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.
Enjoying a seamless home buying journey may seem virtually impossible, particularly for a first-time property buyer. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to boost the likelihood of quickly and easily finding your dream house, such as:
1. Hone Your Home Search
Consider where you want to reside and the features you want to find in your ideal residence. That way, you can hone your house search accordingly.
As you review potential home destinations, consider your short- and long-term goals. For instance, if you want to work in a big city, you may want to search for houses in or near a city that matches your expectations. Or, if you intend to start a family soon, you may want to pursue homes near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
Furthermore, make a list of home features you want to discover in your dream house. With this list in hand, you can focus on finding a home that you can enjoy for years to come.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage usually is a must-have for a homebuyer. If you enter the real estate market with a mortgage in hand, you could speed up your house search.
Meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. This will allow you to learn about myriad mortgage options.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions. A mortgage sometimes is confusing, and as such, it helps to get plenty of information about a mortgage before you start a house search. If you consult with mortgage specialists at banks and credit unions, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Establish Realistic Expectations
Although you likely want to find your dream residence as quickly as possible, it is important to remember that the home buying journey often has ebbs and flows. If you establish realistic home buying expectations, you can avoid potential disappointments as you search for your ideal residence.
Sometimes, it helps to consider the worst-case home buying scenarios. If you plan ahead for these situations, you can determine the steps you will need to take to avoid them altogether.
You may want to collaborate with family members and friends during your home search as well. With loved ones at your side, you can receive plenty of support and guidance as you conduct a home search. Plus, your loved ones can help you keep things in perspective, even if the home buying journey becomes stressful.
When it comes to finding and buying a home, you may want to employ a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the home buying journey. They will learn about you and your home buying goals, and help you plan properly. Thus, a real estate agent can provide you with the support you need to enjoy a seamless home buying journey.
Ready to conduct a successful home search? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can navigate the home buying journey like a pro and quickly discover your dream home.