5 Signs That it’s Time to Have Your Carpets Cleaned

dirty-carpet1A fresh and clean carpet can be one of the most comforting and cozy things in your home.  The opposite is also true- a dirty carpet can cause anxiety and can lead to you avoiding your favorite room in your house, all because you don’t want to look at your dirty carpet.  So how do you know when it’s time to have your carpet professionally cleaned? Below we’ve listed 5 helpful signs that it’s time to clean your carpets.  The single best piece of advice I can give you is to trust your senses- an off smell, a dirty stain or a faint whisper from your carpet saying “clean me!” can all be signs that it’s time to have your carpets professionally cleaned.

Although many articles online will tell you it’s a good idea to have your carpets cleaned every 12 to 18 months, there are many factors that go into this equation, so some of your less frequented carpets may be able to be cleaned every few years, while some may need to be cleaned every 6 months. A few of the determining factors that go into this are whether you have kids or pets and the location of your carpet(frequency of use). For example, if your carpet is near your entry way, you may need to have it cleaned frequently, due to you kids or adults tracking mud into your home. So results may vary- contact your favorite local carpet cleaner to have a look at it if you’re unsure- I always choose Chem-Dry for carpet cleaning in Indiana as well as for my home in Florida, so chances are there is one in your town.

So without further ado, here are 5 signs that it’s time to have your carpets professionally cleaned:

  1. Stains and spills you can’t get out yourself- Time is the most important factor when you have a spill on your carpet. Be sure to not scrub the area, instead lightly dab it with an appropriate cleaner for your style of carpet. If a spill has had time to set in, it may be time to call in the professionals
  2. Your allergies are acting up- if you’ve been sneezing more than usual or your nose is runny when you’re around your carpets during allergy season- this may be a sign that allergens have had a chance to get into your carpet. Don’t panic, as this is natural, but this is a good indication that
  3. Bad odors- If you’re experiencing an off smell when you’re around your carpet, you should trust your nose, as this could indicate a variety of issues ranging from bacteria growth to mold and mildew growth. Don’t risk it. Call a professional.
  4. Damage to your home- If you’ve had smoke or water damage to your home your carpets will never be the same without a thorough cleaning. Unless you like the smell of smoke, then you can let it be! (Just kidding).
  5. Your pet had an accident- It’s a fact of life that pets have accidents on carpets. The best thing you can do is clean it up immediately, but this isn’t always possible. If an accident has been allowed to set in, it could contain bacteria or parasites. The best thing you could do is have a professional carpet cleaning service have a go at it.

It’s not always easy to decide when it’s time to have your carpets professionally cleaned. Hopefully this article will help you in your decision, but always remember- trust your senses- if something seems off, have a professional clean your carpets so you can get back to enjoying them.

Essential Steps To Opening A Florida Child Care Facility

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To begin a day care facility in New Tampa FL, you must have specialized licensing and inspection within the state. The entire process of getting both can take a minimum of ninety days. If you are contemplating opening a day care, it is advisable to set aside ample time to complete the process. There are factors that you must also put into consideration before setting up the child care facility. This includes:

 

  1.   The number of children or families that the facility will serve
  2. A location that is fitting for the facility
  3. You must also set up a process of finding quality personnel for the facility

 

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The licensing and inspection procedures for daycare in Florida are quite intricate. They do however provide for potential owners with counseling throughout the entire process.

 

  • Firstly you must determine the kind of daycare you want to establish. The laws are not different for in-home daycares as well as standalone daycare centers. There will be a variation in startup costs.
  •  You will need a budget for establishing the daycare and the budget should include all that is required for the facility as well as what is required for licensing, inspections and insurance. You probably need to place adverts for personnel and you will need to make arrangements for their training and to also make payments for their training. Itemizing all the requirements for the facility’s startup will help you determine the amount of money you need.
  •  It helps to find out what the definitive regulations are for your county and city as far as overall business licensing and specialized licensing and occupancy for daycare are. There might be minor differences in what is needed for cities and counties. You need to go to the local office to begin the process especially if you are incorporating and you should pick out a name for the daycare.
  •  Next you will need to find a location and in so doing you must put into consideration the number of families and kind that the facility will provide for. You also need to determine how many classroom you require. Make sure you have sufficient space for a playground. Florida State laws demand 45 square feet of space for each walking child or toddler. Infants, however, do not need playing ground space.
  •  You will then need to fill up the inspection form for Florida’s daycare licensure. Once you fill it up, a counselor will be appointed for your case. The counselor will advise throughout the process and help you with the specifics of Florida’s daycare conditions. The counselor will also provide you with teacher licensing data and forms. They will also assist you to go through the whole process which is generally complicated. You must finish the entire process of counseling and fulfill all conditions before you are allowed to open the daycare center.
  •  Once you have the go-ahead, you can start interviewing and hiring personnel. You will need to recruit a director to run the school and teachers and support staff. The licensing counselor can help you determine the licensing suitability of Florida’s daycare system.
  •  You can also start making purchases of toys and playground and classroom materials. You can also get materials for infants if you will be taking care of them too. You can then advertise so that you start getting daycare customers.
  •  After receiving your licenses, you need to make sure that copies are exhibited in suitable places in the daycare. You can then prepare a schedule and get the child daycare up and running.

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing Q & A

Live with a hardwood floor for long enough, and someday you’ll realize that it longer has the amazing shine it once did. And you’ll find yourself asking a lot of questions: Is it time for a polishing or a refinishing? Can that floor actually be refinished? Will I need to call a pro? How will you get the answers you need?

First you’ll want to examine the wear on your hardwood floor. If the wear consists of the light scratches and scuffs caused by every-day wear-and-tear, a polishing may work wonders for your floor. If instead you see scratches through the protective layer, areas where the clear coat has worn away, or places where wood fibers are exposed, you’re seeing the indication that your floor needs more work than a simple polish.

You’ll also want to consider the thickness and history of your hardwood floor. Some floors can be refinished many times, while others are not good candidates for it. For example, a solid hardwood floor constructed from tongue-and-groove installation might be refinished as many as ten times and still retain its usefulness. You can also refinish multi-ply engineered hardwood flooring – but perhaps as few as one or two times.

If you don’t already know the history or thickness of your hardwood floor, and you’re considering a polishing or refinishing, give a local refinisher a call. A pro will be able to examine your floor and lay out your options for you. Here in Chesterfield, VA, this hardwood floor refinishing expert is happy to answer your questions.

When it comes to the question of how often a floor should be refinished, there’s no such thing as a set answer. A good answer will consider how much wear-and-tear the floor undergoes on a daily basis. It will also depend on your floor’s hardness rating; some hardwoods are harder and less prone to wear than others. As a general rule, higher quality floors retain their shine longer without being refinished. Again, if you don’t already know the answers to these questions, a local flooring pro can help.

Let’s say that you’ve realized that your hardwood floor can be refinished and would benefit from it. Is this a job you want to take on yourself? The answer depends on you. First of all, refinishing is not for the faint of heart. It is a nasty, dirty job and consumes lots of time. It requires the purchase or rental of plenty of equipment. It’s not unusual for it to take a minimum of three full days to complete. And there’s the potential to create dips, dents, or other damage to your floor.

Maybe the better question is why would you want to refinish the floor yourself? A reliable pro can do the job efficiently, effectively, and without worry of a mishap caused by inexperience. The work won’t be free, but you won’t have to rent any expensive equipment. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a job well-done every time you look at your floor. For all but the most experienced do-it-yourselfers, hiring a professional to refinish your hardwood floors makes the most sense.

Home Safety for Seniors

senior home safetyHome safety is essential for seniors who live alone. If your elderly loved on has his own house or apartment, there are some steps you can take to help him stay safe.

Prevent Slipping

Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of injury among seniors. These types of accidents are even more dangerous for elderly people than they are for younger people, as a slip and fall accident can result in bone fracture or potentially leave the person unable to move.

One step that can reduce this risk is modifying the flooring in the senior’s home. The safest flooring for an elderly person is basic wall-to-wall carpeting. Linoleum, tile, and hardwood floors can be slippery, and it’s easy for a person to trip on a rug. Carpeting that is securely attached to the floor is a much safer option. It’s also warm and comfortable for the senior’s feet.

Second, there should be no debris in the senior’s home. Any objects left lying on the floor (think: stacks of books or magazines) can cause an accident. This is one area in which a senior care service can be helpful — providing an aide to help ensure that the home is free from clutter.

Make Stairways Safe

If your senior has a stairway in his house, it can be another source of danger. One home improvement that can help prevent accidents is to securely attach carpeting to the stairway. This will reduce the risk of falling when the senior moves up and down the stairs.

Stairways should also be well-lit. The source of lighting should not require the senior to reach for a light cord or a light switch. One option is to install LED light strip on the entire length of the stairway. It is a safe, effective way to keep the stairway lit at little cost.

Bathroom Safety

Seniors who can use the bathroom without assistance can benefit from a couple modifications. A railing can be attached around the toilet. You can also install a similar type of railing for the bathtub, or purchase a walk-in tub made especially for older persons.

Fire Prevention

Fires are a concern for seniors who live alone. If your loved one smokes and you cannot convince them to quit, make sure they take adequate safety precautions. Instruct the senior that they must never smoke in bed, nor while reclining in a chair or on the couch. Advise them to extinguish cigarettes in a glass of water instead of in an ashtray. You can also ask their doctor to encourage them to give up the habit.

Additionally, microwaves are a safer option than using a stove or traditional oven. He or she can prepare a meal or a snack without risking a fire.

Home Securityaging in place

A senior who lives alone can be vulnerable to crime. Many criminals target seniors because they believe it is easy to break into their homes. You should check every window and door to make sure they close tightly and lock securely. However, avoid using bars on the windows in case of a necessary emergency exit. The doors should also be easy to open from the inside.

Seniors need to know about phone safety as well. If they receive a call from someone they don’t know, they should not provide any information or continue the conversation. Advise the senior to report any suspicious phone calls to the police. In addition to criminals wanting to know seniors are home alone, there are those who target elderly persons for scams and identity theft.

An Elder Care Service Can Help

If your elderly relative can benefit from senior care, it is in his or her best interest to hire a caregiver. Caregivers can provide companionship and ensure the senior’s safety. From meal preparation to light housekeeping, there is much an aide can do for a senior. With or without an aide, your loved one’s home can be safe. You will not have to worry about a fire, a break in, or a slip and fall accident. For information about how your loved one can benefit from senior care, visit this in home care service in Phoenix AZ.

When you begin with these home improvement tips, your loved one’s house or apartment will be much more secure. He or she can continue living in their own home without any unnecessary risks. Your elderly parent or grandparent can enjoy their familiar surroundings in comfort without endangering their own health or safety.

Home Mortgage Loans for Buying or Refinancing Your Home

home mortgageConsumers in the U.S. can access a wide range of mortgage products and home financing loans. Lending institutions generally design these loan products to suit the financial needs of different groups of aspiring homeowners. For instance, some loans suit the property-buying needs of veterans, whereas other loan products target individuals in the low-income bracket. The different types of home mortgage loans you can apply for when buying or refinancing your home include:

Fixed Rate Mortgages

The interest rate for this type of mortgage remains the same throughout its lifetime. Lenders typically offer fixed rate mortgages that span 10, 15, 20, and 30 years. Out of these, the 15 and 30-year fixed rate mortgages are the most popular in the U.S. Nevertheless, fixed rate mortgages only suit a specific category of borrowers such as borrowers who prefer the financial stability of fixed monthly payments. These mortgages have become popular because borrowers do not have to worry about economic downturns, stock market gyrations, or political uncertainties at home or abroad. Financial experts recommend a fixed rate mortgage if you intend to stay in your home for 10 years or more.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)

The interest rate for an ARM changes over time depending on factors such as the state of the economy and prevailing market rates. When investors are bullish and the economy is booming, homeowners with ARMs benefit from low and affordable rates. However, the opposite is true when markets are volatile and the economy is tanking. This is the right mortgage if you do not intend to stay in your home for long or believe rates are unlikely to rise steeply in the near future. Moreover, go for an ARM if you do not fancy the high monthly payments associated with fixed rate mortgages. Take note that ARMs come in different flavors, including 7/1, 1/1, 3/3, 10/1, 5/5, 5/1, 5/25, and 3/1. For instance, a 7/1 ARM comes with a low initial rate spanning the first seven years and a single rate adjustment annually throughout its remaining lifetime.

Interest-Only Mortgage

An interest-only mortgage has one desirable feature: interest-only monthly payments over a specified period. After this period ends, borrowers start making fully amortized monthly payments. This means payments based on the principal amount plus interest. Sadly, this translates to high monthly payments. To avoid this financial burden, borrowers usually refinance their mortgages after the interest-only term expires. An interest-only mortgage is ideal for individuals who expect their financial circumstances to improve in the near future.

Payment Option

A payment option mortgage gives borrowers the flexibility of varying monthly payments. Some of the options available to borrowers include interest-only, low, and interest plus principal monthly payments. This is the right mortgage for aspiring homeowners who do not have steady incomes. In addition, it makes financial sense if you prefer investing elsewhere rather than spending a large chunk of your income on mortgage payments.

Balloon

Balloon is a short-term mortgage (3-7 years) with monthly payments based on the amortization schedule of fixed home loans. At the end of its term, the rule of thumb is to clear the remaining balance (if any) by refinancing. Choose a balloon if you prefer mortgage payments that only last a few years. The same is true for individuals who intend to divest after a few years.

Refinancing Optionsmortgage loan

Traditional Refinancing

Most mortgage lenders allow home loan refinancing. This means homeowners can change the terms of their mortgages provided they fulfill specific refinancing requirements set by lenders. Borrowers who refinance enjoy benefits such as low monthly payments, debt consolidation, as well as lower closing and monthly fees. Veterans can try refinancing through the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program.

Cash-Out Refinancing

Cash-out refinancing allows a homeowner to access the equity in his/her home immediately. Traditional lenders (banks) and government entities like the US Department of Housing and Urban Development run cash-out refinancing programs. A good example is the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

Conclusion

You can get a home mortgage loan from a credit union, bank or government body such as the Veterans Administration (VA). The common types of mortgage loans offered by these lending institutions include fixed rate, adjustable rate, balloon, interest-only and payment option mortgage. Of course, before applying for a mortgage loan, you should review its terms and conditions to ensure it suits your home financing needs.

Common Types Of Replacement Windows

Here in Chesterfield, south of Richmond, there are several neighborhoods filled with handsome older homes – homes with windows that haven’t been replaced in decades. With property values climbing, many locals have decided to invest in their homes, and many are opting to install new windows. With that in mind, I’ve put together a basic guide to the types of windows you could consider.

Even on an older home, the windows you consider don’t need to be limited by the past. There are a variety of designs which windows that can help you make the most of your indoor and outdoor spaces. Additionally, there are different structures, glasses, and opening mechanisms available. Most traditional windows were hinged to the side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t opt for something new. Pivot hinges, friction hinges, and newer opening mechanisms are becoming more and more popular.

Today’s windows also come in a variety of different materials. Each material has drawbacks and benefits as it relates to appearance and maintenance. The most popular window materials include wood, aluminum, and vinyl; some manufacturers combine these materials to create windows to utilize the strengths of each. Below are some of the most commonly used replacement windows:

Casement

Similar to doors, casement windows are hinged on the right or left side. Latches are used to securely lock the unhinged sides into place. These windows are popular largely because they are weather-tight and prevent air infiltration. This is because the seal of casement windows meet the casement sash straight-on.

Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows will provide any home with a classic look. With this type of window, the top sash is fixed. Air can be let into the room by raising the bottom of the window. This window does not protrude when opened or closed; therefore, they’re ideal for spaces that face porches, patios, decks, or walkways.

Many single-hung windows effortlessly blend current high-tech innovations with the charm of yesterday. Look for windows with environmentally-friendly materials and modern energy-efficient features such as low-E glass. Many local window installers such as my favorite – Richmond Window – would be happy to get you up to speed on the latest improvements to window design.

Double-Hung

Double-hung windows are among the most commonly used styles among local homeowners – especially for the period homes we have throughout greater Richmond. They feature two sashes and can be operated from the top and bottom, with sashes sliding in both directions for ventilation purposes. These windows also open and close without protrusion; as such, they’re an exceptional choice for spaces facing outdoor living areas. Double-hung tilt windows are equipped with sashes that can tilt inward to allow for easy cleaning of the exterior of the windows.

Bay Window

A bay window is basically an architectural feature that brings more light to a room and makes it more spacious as well. If the house is surrounded by a beautiful view, the bay window could be an excellent way to help bring it into your home. These types of windows are popular in Chesterfield as well as on Victorian homes in the nearby Fan District.

Typically, bay windows are three-sided structures. They are essentially made up of three windows; two come off of the side of the front window and each is angled inward toward the space. The other one is parallel to the inside walls.

Gliding Windows

Whether you call these gliding or sliding windows, they feature two sashes, and at least one of them slides horizontally past the other. They’re mainly used on contemporary homes and they allow breezes to enter the space from many different directions. A gliding window is an ideal space-saving solution when a protruding window could intrude on certain outdoor spaces. Both sides of gliding windows open on tracks that tend to be smooth and easy to maintain; they also lift out to facilitate easy cleaning of the outside glass from inside the home.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are hinged above and open outwardly to allow ventilation from the bottom, right, or left of the window. Typically, these windows are shorter than they are wide. They can be installed alongside, above or below an operating or stationary window. Their operating mechanism is the same as casement windows, in that they both use a crank to open and close the windows.

The bottom-line: There have never been more kinds of windows to choose for your home. See what local window dealers have to offer, and be open to new possibilities.

Pooper Scoopers, A Creative and Helpful Home Service

You love your pet, and he is an important part of your life.  However, owning a pet is not all fun.  It also involves plenty of work, and various concerns.  You can enjoy your pet and have fewer worries when you hire our pooper scooper service.

Pet Waste Removal Service Means Saving Time

two labs in yardIf you are like most pet owners, you know cleaning up dog waste is a time-consuming activity.  Whether you take your dog outdoors to do his business, or whether he spends most of his time outdoors, this is a chore you have been dealing with every day.  When you are tired after work or have something else to do, this chore can almost make you wish you did not have a dog.

Doody Calls will solve this problem.  You will no longer need to spend your nights or weekends removing dog waste from your yard.  When you hire our service for dog poop pickup, you can put your time to better use.  You can relax with your family, play with your pet, or do other household chores, because your yard will always be clean.

An Unusual, Convenient Services

While many pet owners are not aware that pet waste disposal services exist, Doody Calls offers a number of special features.  These features make us the best pooper scooper service you will find in your area.

One example is our deodorizing service.  While dog waste has a horrible odor, the dog himself may have an unpleasant odor.  There may be dog odor on your deck, patio, or other outdoor living area.  As our deodorizing product is natural, the areas around your home will be fresh, clean, and safe.  It does not contain any dangerous chemicals that could harm your dog.

A second example is a service plan designed for each individual customer.  You may not have the same needs or preferences as other dog owners in your neighborhood.  As customer satisfaction is our goal, we can schedule Doody Calls pet waste removal for the schedule that is convenient for you (click here for Colorado residents).

Third, when you choose Doody Calls, you will have a trained professional cleaning your yard.  We are the most trusted dog waste removal service in the nation.  You can have confidence in our service and our technicians, each and every time.

You Can Have A Clean, Healthy Environment

scooping up dog poop yourselfIf you think about it, your outdoor environment is as important as the inside of your home.  Not only do you want it to look nice, you also want it to be healthy.  You care about sanitation around your home, both inside and out.

One priority for a sanitary environment is thorough cleaning.  Waste contains bacteria, and some dogs have parasites.  Regular cleaning and pet waste disposal will keep your family and pets safe.  You do not have to worry about anyone becoming ill due to bacteria and parasites in the yard.

Another priority is healthy cleaning supplies.  In addition to natural cleaning products, you can be assured the tools we use are cleaned and disinfected before we visit your home.  Sanitation around your home is a simple, healthy process when you choose Doody Calls pooper scooper service.

This service as really been a big time savings for me, now I only wish my back patio door in the kitchen has a doggy door so my pups could let themselves out to use the bathroom.

Is it Time to Replace your Windows?

Chances are slim that your windows will last the life of your home.  However, many of us are not familiar with the signs that we need to consider replacement windows.  Since this isn’t something that we do on a regular basis, it is understandable that most homeowners don’t really have a clue.  Still, this isn’t something you want to have catch your off guard as it could be detrimental to your home and your bank account.  With that in mind, look out for the following top three signs that you need to replace your home windows.

Your House Feels Drafty

This is more obvious in the winter months than during the spring and summer, so start looking for it now.  If you are ever walking in your home and you suddenly hit a spot that feels colder than the rest of the home, or you feel a slight breeze that shouldn’t be there, you have a window problem. I usually refer my friends in the Philadelphia area to Renewal by Andersen window replacement but they have these high quality windows for sale all across the country.  Sometimes these drafts can be cured without resorting to replacement windows.  However, there will also be times when they are absolutely needed.  If you notice drafts, consult a window contractor.

Windows are Not Moving Properly

This is a big one, but homeowners often just write it off as a quirk of their home.  If you have to use special tricks to get a window open or closed, it isn’t safe—especially if they are difficult or impossible to open.  Your windows do more than let in light or a cool breeze; they allow you and your loved ones to escape your home in the case of a fire.  If you are having the problems, replacement windows are needed.

You See Condensation Inside the Glass

If you have multiple window panes and you see condensation between the glass, this is a sign that something is wrong with the seal.  In minor cases, this could be an easy fix.  In others, you will need new windows.

Preparing for a hurricane in the 21st century

maysville_house_stormIf you know a storm is coming and that it’s going to be rough, be sure to find ways to stay safely inside to prepare for it. New technology makes it easier every year to make smart investments in your personal safety.

You know the usual things—have a flashlight and batteries, nonperishable foods with a can opener, bottled water, sanitary items and maybe a crank radio if you’re feeling old fashioned.

There are a couple of new tips for things you can do in this day and age. The first is being realistic. You can’t prepare for everything, so just be as flexible as possible and stretch what you have as far as possible.

If all your basics are covered, but there are still things like fully charged devices that don’t need a Wi-Fi connection that are just as useful as having books and reading devices to pass the time.

You never know how long a storm will truly last. Meteorologists can help predict it, but there’s no telling for sure when you will be able to continue your life like normal. Buy as many canned foods as you can and make sure to have enough water so that everyone can drink at least a gallon a day. Don’t skimp on the toilet paper, either.

The nice thing about all of these things is that they are able to enable you to survive without electricity. While useful, in the modern day, being without electricity is unacceptable.

While our ancestors had to do without electricity, heat and hot water, times are changing. Those things are no longer considered a luxury—they’re very necessary, and you can keep them around longer.

Being powerless is pretty uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. Invest in a home generator. If you live in the Richmond area, try look into Master Electrical generator installation for your needs.

With a home generator, you decide what gets to stay on. You can keep your refrigerator running when the rest of the house goes off during the storm. It’s really the smartest investment you could make when it comes to preparing for the worst.

You also get to use it for leisure. Having a backup generator or even a portable generator means you don’t have to sacrifice your way of life just because a storm is causing some technical issues.

If you still have cell service, you can call and message your friends in a similar situation without having to worry about conserving energy for emergencies. You can cook a warm meal without starting a fire. There are no sacrifices because you can decide what is and isn’t going to be powered by the generator in your time of need.

In this day and age, it’s not as necessary to make sacrifices during a storm. As long as you’re safe and you have a roof over your head, you can wait it out with a peace of mind.

Investing in the Right Home

A Quick Guide of How to Shop for Your New Home

Buying a home for the first time can be one of the most intimidating decisions of your life. It’s difficult to gauge what you can afford, where you would like to live, what type of house you are interested in, and how much work you are willing to put into your new property. Everyone goes through the home buying process at a different pace, and it is important to plan ahead and take as much time as you need to feel comfortable with your final decision. Follow this guide to get you started on the search.

  1. The first step in buying a home is to determine what you can afford. There is no sense in shopping around to see what you like first, because you could get your heart set on something that is not financially realistic. Before even making an appointment with your bank or credit union, use some online calculators to get a ballpark price estimate of what is within your means.
  2. Compare home prices in different neighborhoods to get an initial feel of your price range and what is available for purchase. If you are looking to live within a specific school district, near a lake, etc., prices could fluctuate considerably. To some, the house itself is more important than its surrounding community. For others, the opposite is true. Zillow and other online searches are great ways to find more information on what is available without setting an appointment.
  3. Once you find the neighborhoods, house styles, and price range you are comfortable with, it is time to visit a financial institution. A bank or credit union will help prequalify you for a home loan. According to the Credit Union National Association, nonprofit credit unions in Richmond VA are gaining millions of new members each year. They are becoming increasingly appealing with exclusive eligibility, fair rates, and excellent customer service. Plan out your future with a bank or credit union that is trusted in your specific community.
  4. Now that you know what type of mortgage you qualify for, decide what your “needs” are and what your “nice to haves” are in your future home. Not every house will be perfect, and you will need to make some tradeoffs. For example, maybe having 3 bathrooms is an absolute deal breaker. However, although you would also like to have a Jacuzzi bathtub in the master bath, this will not determine whether or not you will buy the house. There may also be some features that you are willing to contract, build, or self-install.
  5. Make a list of these features (in step 4) and bring them with you each house showing. Touring multiple houses can make them run together, and having a solid list of what you liked and disliked about each house makes it easier to look back and narrow down your final contenders.

Congratulations, it’s time to strike a deal! The overwhelming stage of choosing a house is over with, and now it’s time to get into the negotiations, maintenance, repairs, decorating, and upkeep that follows. Owning a home is a huge responsibility and the process of buying and maintaining your house should be given the utmost attention to detail.