John Flavin's Blog
Choosing the right lighting for your home not only enhances it visually, but can also make it a safer and more secure place to live.
While an interior decorator or electrician can offer you additional suggestions about upgrading your home's lighting efficiency and appearance, here are a few helpful lighting tips and ideas to consider.
- Dimmer switches can be a highly desirable feature to include in most rooms in your house. You only use them on an as-needed basis, and they're great for reducing eye strain, creating a more relaxing environment, and conserving electricity. Although dimmer switches are relatively easy to install, hiring a reasonably priced electrician is good insurance against getting an electrical shock or doing it incorrectly.
- Flood lights strategically placed in different areas of your property can help keep away trespassers, burglars, and vandals. Motion-activated security lights are especially effective at deterring crime and sending intruders on their way. While lighting alone does not comprise a fail-proof home security system, it is one of several methods that, when used together, can keep your home, property, and family safe.
- Adequate outside lighting helps prevent family members and visitors from falling, tripping, and getting injured on your property when approaching your home at night. This is especially important for those who are elderly or vision impaired.
- Outdoor lighting can also be effectively used for decorative purposes on porches, patios, backyard decks, and walkways.
If you're wondering why old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are becoming harder to find on store shelves, it's because of two things:
- The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: It was enacted to for several reasons, including eliminating wasteful energy products from the market, helping the United States become more energy independent, and reducing harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants. Although some consumers prefer the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, it's interesting to know that they're only 10% efficient. What that means, says the EPA, is that 90% of the electricity it uses is lost to heat.
- Consumers want to save money on energy consumption. Here's what the EPA says on the subject: "Because lighting accounts for approximately 12% of the average household’s energy bill, more efficient options will help consumers save money on their utility bills."
With its economical features and versatile uses in and around the house, there are a lot of benefits to be had from choosing the right lighting.
Whether you're looking for the house of your dreams or the spouse of your dreams, it helps to write up a detailed description of the qualities that matter most to you!
While your goals should be realistic and attainable, you do not want to compromise your standards or aim too low.
In the case of house hunting, there are many conditions which will directly affect the success of your search.
Here are some of the main ones.
- Your budget: All things being equal -- the higher your budget, the greater your chances for getting everything on your wish list. The most desirable locations, lot size, amenities, and square footage often come with a price. The same can be said of homes that are in optimal condition with lots of recent updates, improvements, and energy efficient or high-tech features.
- The real estate market: Three factors which will invariably affect the outcome of your real estate search will be the local real estate inventory (the number of properties available -- especially those in your price range), the law of supply and demand, and property values in your chosen geographic area.
- Your real estate agent: Choosing a real estate agent who's experienced, resourceful, and dedicated can prove to be a significant advantage in finding a home that matches your budget, your goals, and your desired lifestyle. Once you've decided what you want in your next home, an agent or Realtor can show you houses on the market that will meet many, if not all, of your requirements.
- Your wish list: Creating a list of property features and characteristics that you absolutely must have in your next home will help ensure that you get them. A carefully thought-out "wish list" is also a vital aspect of your search for the perfect or "near perfect" home. By creating a clear mental picture of your ideal living space, location, and environment, you'll be increasing your chances of finding a home that meets all your expectations. There are literally dozens of features to keep in mind, including architectural style, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, distance from the street, privacy, the spaciousness of the kitchen, and the layout of adjacent living areas. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, for example, you might prefer an open floor plan. Features like a screened-in porch, a patio, and a large backyard are often major wish-list items for homeowners who enjoy outdoor living. Other items to consider may include things like a fireplace, a finished basement, a convenient laundry room, and a two-car garage. Proximity to stores, quality schools, medical/dental services, and recreation areas will also be key factors in the selection of your future home.
After you accept an offer on a home, you likely will only have a few weeks to pack up your belongings and vacate the premises. As such, there are many questions that home sellers need to consider at this point, including:
1. Where am I going to live?
If you haven't figured out where you're going to live after your home closing, there is no need to panic. Consider all of your potential living options now, and you can plan accordingly.
Oftentimes, friends and family members may be willing to provide you with a temporary place to live. These loved ones may enable you to stay in their houses until you buy a new residence. Or, in some instances, you may be able to permanently move in with friends and family members.
On the other hand, if you enjoy being a homeowner, you may want to kick off a home search right away. This will enable you to find a new place to live in the city or town of your choice. Also, if you work quickly, you may be able to finalize your home purchase around the same time that you sell your current house.
2. What is the homebuyer's next step?
In most cases, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to schedule a home inspection after you accept his or her offer. Once the home inspection is complete, the buyer will receive a report that provides insights into the condition of your house.
For home sellers, a home inspection can be stressful. If a property inspector discovers problems with a residence, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home purchase or ask a seller to complete various home renovations.
When it comes to selling a house, it pays to be honest. If you provide honest responses to a homebuyer's questions about your residence, you can help the buyer make an informed purchase decision. Plus, with this approach, you can minimize the risk that a home inspection may lead a buyer to rescind his or her offer.
3. What will I need to do to finalize the home sale?
The time between accepting a home offer and reaching the closing date may seem endless. However, a patient home seller will be able to stay calm, cool and collected, even if challenges arise along the way.
As a home seller, you should try to do everything you can to reach the finish line of a property sale. If you maintain consistent communication with a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent works on a home seller's behalf and will do everything possible to minimize potential pitfalls. Thus, this housing market professional is happy to respond to a home seller's questions to ensure this individual is fully supported in the weeks and days leading up to a home closing.
Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.
A closing represents the final stage before a buyer acquires a house. At this point, a buyer and seller will meet and finalize an agreement. And if everything goes according to plan, a buyer will exit a closing as the owner of a new residence.
Ultimately, there are several steps that a buyer should complete to prepare for a home closing, and these are:
1. Review Your Home Financing
Typically, a lender will provide full details about your monthly mortgage payments for the duration of your home loan. This information is important, as it highlights exactly how much that you will be paying for your house.
Assess your home loan information prior to a closing. That way, if you have any home loan concerns or questions, you can address them before your closing day arrives.
If you allocate the necessary time and resources to review your home financing, you may be able to alleviate stress prior to closing day. In fact, once you know that all of your home financing is in order, you can enter a closing with the confidence that you'll be able to cover your mortgage expenses.
2. Perform a Final Walk-Through
A final walk-through provides a last opportunity to evaluate a residence before you complete your purchase. Thus, you will want to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that a seller has completed any requested repairs and guarantee that a house matches your expectations.
Oftentimes, a final walk-through requires only a few minutes to complete. The inspection generally may be completed a few days before a closing as well.
It is essential to keep in mind, however, that a final walk-through won't always go according to plan. If you give yourself plenty of time for a final walk-through, you should have no trouble getting the best-possible results.
Try to schedule a final walk-through at least a week before a closing. By doing so, you'll ensure that a seller can perform any requested repairs prior to closing day.
3. Get Your Paperwork Ready
During a home closing, you'll likely need to provide proof of home insurance, a government-issued photo ID and other paperwork. If you get required documents ready ahead of time, you won't have to scramble at the last minute to retrieve assorted paperwork for your closing.
If you need help preparing for a home closing, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent will help you find a house, submit an offer on it and conduct a house inspection. Plus, this housing market professional can provide recommendations throughout the homebuying process to help you achieve your desired results. And as closing day approaches, a real estate agent is available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions too.
Prepare for a home closing – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can seamlessly navigate the home closing process.
Selling your home is a major decision, and as such, you likely will need to allocate significant time and resources to determine whether now is the right time to add your residence to the real estate market.
Ultimately, there are many signs that may prove now is the ideal time to list your home, including:
1. Your house feels too big or too small.
Does your home feel cramped? Or, do you feel like you have too much space at your disposal? In either scenario, listing your home may enable you to relocate to a house that better suits your lifestyle than your current residence.
Working with a real estate agent will enable you to determine the right price for your home and generate plenty of interest in your residence. Plus, your real estate agent will help you narrow your search for a new home, ensuring that you can discover a new residence that suits you perfectly.
2. Your financial situation has changed.
Land a high-paying new job? Or, are you looking to cut expenses to save for a baby who is on the way? If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may want to consider selling your home.
Furthermore, collaborating with a real estate agent may enable you to maximize the value of your residence in any housing market, at any time. Your real estate agent will set up home showings, provide tips and recommendations to help you bolster your house's curb appeal and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to drive interest in your home.
Let's not forget about the personalized support that a real estate agent can provide, either. Your real estate agent will be able to respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries. Thus, your real estate agent can play an important role in your ability to sell your home and optimize its value.
3. You're ready for a change.
Tired of dealing with New England winters? Or, do you want to enjoy the warm, sunny California weather day after day? If you're ready for a change in your life, you may want to sell your house sooner rather than later.
After you sell your home, you can relocate to any location you choose. Meanwhile, selling your home may open up new opportunities for you, as you'll be able to establish a new life in a new location at your convenience.
If you're ready for a change, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you add your home to the real estate market and offer plenty of housing market data to ensure that you can price your house competitively. In addition, your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the best home selling results.
Don't wait to make a change in your life. Instead, meet with a real estate agent, and you can explore your home selling options today.