Archives for February 2019

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Save Money and Stress on Professional Emergency Home Repairs

This post is from guest contributor: Natalie Jones

Ask any homeowner and they will tell you that emergency home repairs are never fun. Many of the most common urgent home issues require the attention of a professional contractor, which can be costly. Prepare yourself for surprise expenses by using these tips to keep your house and your budget protected.           

Prepare Your Personal Budget for Routine Repairs

Before you even buy a home, you should begin making room in your budget for common household repairs. Do some research online to see what routine home repairs could end up costing you, and be sure to include all project costs in your budget planning. You’re going to have to factor in any fees you need to pay to professional contractors as well as for materials, but you should also consider expenses that can be easy to miss.

For example, to keep your belongings from being damaged by dust, tools, or debris during repairs, you may need to think about putting some items in storage. Currently, the typical cost of a self-storage unit rental in Seattle is $92.97, so you may need to add this to your overall project budget. Keeping breakables and irreplaceable furnishings in storage can prevent added stress and costs for you but can also allow contractors to work at a faster pace with a cleared-out space.

You can get a good feel for the costs of common upgrades with a little homework, but you should also consider setting up an urgent home maintenance fund, with a goal of saving at least one percent of the value of your home for unexpected professional home repairs.

Resolve Home Emergencies Without Extreme Costs

Most home emergencies are going to require the skill and expertise of a contractor, so you have to be ready to pay higher costs than DIY repairs. Broken pipes, faulty wiring, and roof leaks (roof repairs generally run between $300 and $1,100) are all repairs that should be handled by licensed, bonded professionals, but there may be some minor emergencies that can be taken care of by a handyman. Understanding the differences between a contractor and handyman could possibly save you hundreds or thousands on smaller home repairs, such as a broken gate or a clogged toilet.

If you do need to hire a licensed plumber, electrician (typically charge $50 – $100 an hour), or another contractor, you can also keep costs low by knowing how to negotiate the best deal. If your repair isn’t urgent, spend some time getting quotes from a few different contractors and be sure to check out research experience and reviews before settling on a price. In those situations where you need repairs done fast, and when your emergency fund will not cover costs, you also need to figure out some smart funding options. If you have equity built up in your home, you may be able to leverage it to get a small loan, but for new homeowners, credit cards with low-interest rates could be your best bet at getting cash in a hurry.

Take Care of Crucial Home Maintenance Tasks

Responsible homeowners should always be financially prepared to cover emergency professional repairs. If you want to cut down on those repairs and expenses in the first place, however, you should be taking care of routine maintenance year-round. One step many homeowners overlook is disconnecting and preparing their outdoor irrigation systems in the winter. Leaving hoses connected and outdoor spigots exposed can result in costly leaks and breaks in your plumbing, so take care to winterize your pipes before freezing temperatures arrive.

Taking care of regular maintenance can also help you avoid issues with your homeowner’s insurance policy because most policies will not cover repairs or damages that are due to homeowner neglect. To tackle most of the maintenance tasks on your list and keep your insurance valid, keep a set of basic tools around to help you out. Tape, screwdrivers, and hammers can be useful when it comes to performing maintenance and minor household repairs.

When you need to call the professionals, it helps to know you have options to pay for your emergency home repairs. So plan ahead for those potential issues now and keep your home in good shape to save yourself stress and costs later.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

7 Tips for Designing Your Bedroom

Learn how to think about light, layout, circulation and views to get the bedroom of your dreams

Have you ever been in a room that just feels right? Nine times out of 10, it’s because it has a simple design that functions well. But creating a simple design is harder than it looks — particularly in bedrooms.

Why? Because every bedroom absolutely has to have a bed in it. And beds are big and ungainly, and dictate the placement of every other object in the room. But if you’re lucky enough to be planning a bedroom from scratch or remodeling an existing bedroom, you can control the other elements and create a space that’s both practical and pretty.

The bedrooms shown here manage that feat with panache. Even if you don’t have a great view, access to the outdoors or plenty of space to work with, the principles they embody and the simplicity they show can inspire your own bedroom design project.

12 Ways to Set Up Your Kitchen for Healthy Eating

Making smart food choices is easier when your kitchen is part of your support team

As we move deeper into January, don’t get discouraged if you’ve slipped on your New Year’s resolutions to eat more healthfully or lose weight. Instead, make reaching those goals easier to accomplish by getting the right cooking and dining setup to form new habits. There are many things you or your designer can do in your kitchen to make it easier to choose healthy options. Here are some tips that can help you create new habits and stick to them.

2018 US Migration Report

Every Place in The Beatles Lyrics, Mapped

Take yourself on a tour of lyric locations in The Beatles songs. From Eleanor Rigby’s gravestone in Liverpool to Abbey Road in North London, see the locations behind The Beatles lyrics throughout England, France, Russia, India, the United States, and more countries, covering 25,510 miles around the world.


What is the Cost of Waiting Until Next Year to Buy?

  • The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by the end of 2019.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to. Contact me: 

10 Smart Organizing Tools for Getting Kids’ Spaces in Shape

Get ideas for corralling your children’s toys, books, clothes and art

Are your kids’ rooms bursting at the seams? Just as our waistlines feel the strain of a few too many holiday cookies, our homes (and especially the kids’ spaces) are likely to feel a bit overstuffed after the holiday gift season. While it’s important to remember to declutter before you organize, once you’ve pared back the old to make room for the new, getting a few smart systems in place will ensure that spaces look good long-term. Ahead are 10 simple but effective organizing tools, plus tips on how to use them.

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

This might be one of the most random posts on this blog. I love pasta, so here goes!

Spaghetti is only one kind of pasta. There are enough of them to make your head explode.  Which ones do you like?