Monthly Archives: April 2016

Buy Comfortable Home For Single Parents

hm3Be a single parent is not easy. For single parents, the child is the main happiness. House is one of the things that should be considered by a single parent. Comfortable home conditions will make children feel at home. Therefore, here are some tips on buying a home that is comfortable for single parents. Now see the things, a single parent should consider, in order to buy a house.

Affording a Home

When there are talks about a single parent buying a home, the first point which is considered is the cost of the house. No doubt, it is hard, when there is only a limited income flow. However, a silver lining in the dark clouds are the home buying programs. There are both federal owned and community based organizations, that help single parents in realizing their dreams. The basic rule to remember, when one is looking for a home is that the cost of the house should not be more than 2.5 times the annual income.

To find out the right plan, the first step is to find out about the homeownership programs available in your home state. There are various local State Housing Finance Agency, where you can get the necessary information from. These agencies are backed by the government. Gathering information from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will also prove to be of help. There is an added advantage of seeking help from HUD. Other than mortgage related information, you will also be able to gather information about home-buying process and about the different home-buying programs in your area.

Credit Counseling

Going in for credit counseling is recommended, when one wants to buy a home. The state housing agencies often offer such counseling. Talking to the counselor about rent-to-own also proves to be useful. There are three aspects, which are often considered, when one wants to buy a home:
The amount that has to be paid every month should not be more than 26% of the gross monthly income. This amount is inclusive of property tax and insurance amounts.
Whatever be the credit that one has taken, including the home loans, the monthly repayment amount has to be lesser than 38% of the gross monthly income.
While availing home loans, there should be two to three months worth payment in the emergency fund.
Having a good credit score is necessary and a clean credit, so that single parents become eligible for low rate Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.
Single parents are considered for loans by FHA even if they have part-time employment 18 months at a stretch. However, with other money lenders it is important to have been in employment for 24 months and at two different jobs.

Down Payment

An important part of owning a home is the down payment, that has to be paid for the same. You will either have to make the necessary savings for the down payment or a relative has to gift you the said amount or opt for down payment grants . Such programs are especially for the first time home buyers, low-income families, single parent homes and individuals. There are different home investment partnerships, which can also be considered, if it is rather difficult for you to pay the down payment money. To be eligible for such a partnership, the buyer should fall under a certain income level. However, it is important to note that if the down payment has been funded by grants, then the seller cannot contribute towards the down payment cost or the closing costs.

Closing Costs

When one is buying a home, among the other things, there are the closing costs. In some cases, this cost may be waived off, if the seller of the property agrees to pay the cost himself. However, it is important to note that there is only a specific amount, which the seller can pay. The remaining will have to be paid by the buyer. It is important to note that the closing costs will have to be paid even though you have 100% finances. This includes fees, notary fees, loan fees, etc.

Loan Guarantees

Often single parents’ mortgage loan may not be approved. This is when Housing and Urban Development pitches in and stands as guarantor for the loan amount. If a single parent is not eligible for the mortgage, then he/she can apply for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. At this point, it is important to remember, that loan guarantee naturally does not mean that the loan will be approved always, however, the chances of getting the loan amount sanctioned are higher in such a case.

Repayment Options

When one is opting for a home loan, along with the loan formalities and down payment options, the repayment options will also have to be decided. If in a mother’s qualifying income child support is also included, then the court documents will have to be shown to prove that the father of the child is obligated to pay the said child support amount. It is important to note that a letter from the father or a notary us not a valid proof. In some cases, the bank statements, which prove the payment of the child support amount will also have to be produced. If you are currently on rent assistance, after availing the loan, rent assistance will be lost. In other words, the income will drop, which means you will have to reevaluate your repayment options.

First Time Home Buyers Loans

There are various facilities for the first time home buyer. One can utilize the various options, which exist that can be made use of. To be eligible for these loans, you will have to be actually buying a home indeed for the first time, either on your own or with your partner or anyone else.

Documents Required

So that you do not face dejection, make sure you have all the necessary documents ready. Verification of rent for 12 months, 12 months canceled checks, bank statements, especially for child support payments, to prove full-time income W-2 (Wage and Tax) statement, latest copy of pay slip (in case there is anything unusual in the pay slip like ‘extras’, you will need a letter from the HR representative of your company explaining the same, especially 401K loan repayment or wage garnishments), last but not the least documents proving single parent status will also have to be produced.

While buying a home, a single parent should always have the fundamentals of single parenting in mind to have a conducive environment for the child to grow in. To repay off the loans and to protect the child from economic disparities the parent should not overwork, as it can lead to neglecting the child for long hours everyday. To run efficient and blissful single parent homes, the secret lies is not gathering much information about it, as it leads to prejudices and pre-conceived notions. Keep the optimism within you, alive and the parent and the child can have a blissful life.

Get High Price With Staging Your Home Before Sale

hm2Wants to sell the house at a high price? There are things that can be done so that the results of higher home sales. One of them with home staging. To do this then the sales price will be higher. Selling a house is not a tough task, but selling it at the highest possible price, whilst keeping the buyer satisfied, can be difficult.

Ten Home Staging Tips

1. Uncluttering
If you hire a professional stager, the first thing he will ask you to do is unclutter the house. Simply cleaning it is not enough. You have to unclutter every corner, shelf, and cupboard. The first rule of uncluttering is reducing the number of objects in the house. So get rid of extra chairs, books, DVDs, and even the extra cutlery in the kitchen. You can donate these things to a charity if you are not sure what to do with them.

2. The Outside Counts
No matter how uncluttered and pleasant your home may be on the inside, the first impression will still be made by how it looks on the outside. If landscaping seems like a costly option, you can simply mow the lawn and clean the doors and windows. Also, do not forget to clean the garage as well.

3. Make it Neutral
When your potential buyer is looking around the house, he is imagining himself living there. However, if it is filled with your personal things, he will feel like a guest in your home. Hence, clear all the family pictures and anything that indicates your and your family members’ distinct presence there.

4. Leaks and Creaks
When someone wishes to buy a house, they look through every nook and cranny. Hence, check if there are any leaks anywhere in the house, or if the paint is coming off on any wall that is usually hidden from plain view. Get all these repaired.

5. Remove Paintings or Wall Pieces
If there is a painting or wall piece with a very heavy color scheme, take it down. To create a pleasant feeling in the house, hang up paintings with simple, soft colors.

6. The Floors
A worn carpet or creaking hardwood flooring are major turn offs. Repair the floor and spread a new carpet.

7. Let Some Air In
If you have moved into your new house, then you should try and take some time to open the doors and windows of your old house for a few hours everyday. This will ensure air circulation through the house and prevent it from getting stuffy and musty.

8. Best Foot Forward
Make your prospective buyer see what you saw in the house when your bought it. Accentuate all the good features about your house and make sure that the buyer notices them.

9.Clean Some More
You have to keep the whole house spotless at all times. This will lend a good feeling to the place. Look at the importance of this aspect from a buyer’s point of view.

10. When the Buyer Arrives
Remember the following pointers when the buyer comes to look at the house―do not follow him around everywhere, do not play very loud music, and do not try too hard to make the sale.

Along with the above mentioned tips, you can find many more things to better the appearance of your house before selling it. Home staging is a very interesting field― and you can even take a certification course in this.

Feng Shui Tips for Living Room

The living room is one important part of the home. Every guest who comes to the house will be placed in this room. Living room conditions were beautiful and tidy will reflect the state of the home environment. Feng shui is a philosophy that comes from china. According to the beliefs of Chinese, feng shui aims to help adjust the layout of a room that look good and avoid the bad luck. Living room is a room that should contain a wide assortment of chairs and sofa benches along with some innovative, classic designs and decorations. The arrangement of furniture and objects requires to be done according to feng shui, in order to have good health, happiness, and prosperity for the family.

Living Room According to Feng Shui
To enjoy all the benefits and avoid unsettled conditions, it is important to recognize and modify each and every point of the living room according to the feng shui concepts.
1. Layout
According to feng shui, the living room should be on the ground floor, and not upstairs. It should not be visible from the main entrance way or doorway. Technically, when people enter the house, first there should be a finely decorated foyer or entrance hall having common rooms close by and personal rooms a bit away.
Another important point is the wealth, which lies in the left hand corner, when someone enters the room. A door or doorway located just under this point can lead to gradual loss of financial prosperity as the money will keep seeping away. If you have such a living room layout, and now it is impossible to change the design, you can counter the negative energy by keeping a healthy plant in a large pot at the entrance but with no dead leaves or flowers.
2. Colors

Since each color attracts a particular type of energy, the color of the living room has to be selected depending upon its location. If the living room is at the center of the home, then with the health point of view, brown or shades of yellow are great colors as per feng shui.
If the room is in the west, then white color suits well, whereas, if the living room is positioned in the east, shades of green or black help to increase the family honor and heritage.
Dark shades can also be used for a room positioned at the north to bring success and prosperity in life.
If the room is positioned in the south, shades of red will bring in lots of fame and power.
Soft or pastel pink when used in the south west corner can revive a dull or ending relationship, whereas gray or silver colors when used in the northwest can bring in opportunities and success.
3. Furniture Placement
The next point to be considered is the furniture placement in the living room. The furniture should be arranged in such a way, that it enables easy movement throughout the room, and creates no obstacles when people traverse the room. The couch, chairs, or sofa seats should not be positioned in such a way that people sitting on them have to look straight out the front door.
You should place the couch and chairs with their backs to a wall, not necessarily flat against the wall. If you have two couches, avoid placing them facing each other as this can induce stress in your visitors who are unknown to each other. The best way to place them is with one to the side of the other in a catty-cornered set up.
Also, don’t place the couch under a beam as it puts undue pressure on the family’s breadwinner. Try to position the furnishings with their backs to either the front or the main door or a window.
4. Decorating Tips
Corners or dark areas of the living room should be lightened using mild lights, blend of clear colors and mirrors, as this attracts ‘chi’ or positive energy, and enables it to flow through the whole room.
Avoid placing television and other metal objects in the center of the room as this can invite negative energy.

As the room’s main table symbolizes health, it should be neat and tidy. Keeping natural flowers and plants on it is good for the sight and health of people sitting around it.

Another important element of feng shui is the mirrors. A well-positioned mirror can bring in more light, make the room look wider and can reflect a symbolic element in it.
Placing feng shui items like fuk luk sau at an elevated level can create an auspicious chi for the entire house. Fuk luk sau is basically a three stand deity believed to symbolize three main aspirations of humans – happiness, wealth, and long life.

Hanging wind chimes in certain areas of the room ,and placing a fish tank in the north of a room can promote health, harmony, and prosperity within the family.
So, if you are planning to buy or renovate your home, keep these principles in mind and enrich your family’s lives with its positive benefits.

Safety Tips for Your Home Sweet Home

hm1Security is a very important thing in a family home environment. As it relates to the entire family. Now, the security system for the home is already advanced. It can be seen from the security system with a smartphone application that can be monitored from afar. So no need to worry about the security of the home, while away from home. Safety at home is important, as it can go a long way in preventing mishaps and fatal accidents. There are several ways and means to secure one’s house and depending on your need and requirement, choose the safety methods accordingly. However, there are certain precautions and measures that make it to the top of the list of safety tips and all you need to do is incorporate them in order to make your place a safe haven.

Tips for General Safety
These safety measures include tips on fire safety, to tips that can deter strangers or thieves from taking undue interest in your home.
– Store Inflammables With Care

By inflammables we mean any substance that catches fire easily, and can cause an explosion. In the image above, you can see cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas and other liquid fuels. While we all know that we should store these substances away from the house, in places such as the backyard, what we probably don’t know is that we should avoid storing all of them at one place. Doing so can trigger a huge explosion on the event of a fire breaking out. Moreover, you should consult the local authorities and follow the recommended safety standards for their storage.
– Keep Your Voicemail Volume Low

If your telephone is on the voicemail mode when you’re away, make sure you keep the volume low so that people who pass by your house, do not get to hear it and “know” that nobody’s at home. This holds especially true for people living on the ground floor, and is a simple way to prevent potential threats to security.
– Install Surveillance Cameras

Now, this is something that we all know helps, but few of us consider installing these cameras at home. It’s important to note that surveillance cameras are not just meant for hotels and shopping areas, but you should get one for your home as well. If you feel a surveillance system for your home is way too expensive, you can even install fake ones! Trust me, they can ward off intruders and prove helpful, though not in the true sense.
– Watch Out for Strangers

One of the basic safety tips that all of us tend to ignore, is the way to deal with strangers. Whenever you’re alone at home, never open the door to an unknown person. Also, you should never ever talk to a stranger about your family or your daily routine. Another important thing to remember is to never let a stranger who arrives at your doorstep know that you’re alone at home.
– Install Smoke Detectors

The first step in fire safety is to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in different areas of your house. Remember that with smoke detectors, the more the number the better it is going to be. Make sure you install one in each bedroom, and preferably one in every other room as well. Check for the UL mark on the smoke detectors to make sure they are designed to meet standard safety requirements. Test them at regular intervals to ensure all of them are in a working condition, and replace the batteries periodically.
Tips for Child Safety
If there are kids in your family, there may be additional safety precautions that you need to take. Just go through the list to find out!
– Keep Electrical Sockets Covered

Electrical wires should be properly tied up using cord winders, such that they are safely out of your toddler’s reach. Extension cords and plug sockets should be covered when not in use, because your little one may insert metallic objects in the open sockets and run the risk of an electric shock.
– Keep Medicines Out of Reach

Reminded of that bottle of colorful pills that you have casually placed atop the kitchen cabinet? While you may be wondering how on earth it may harm your child, the fact is that toddlers are attracted to bright-colored objects and the seemingly innocuous pills are no exception. So you see that it is important to consider medicines a “potential threat” to your child’s safety, and store them accordingly.
– Keep Pets Away

We all love pets, don’t we? While your kid may love pets too, it helps to know that pets are not always safe, especially when your kid is a toddler. A pet about the house can mean pet hair all over the place, some of which can be hard to spot. Also, pets can be pretty unpredictable, and certain breeds can be highly aggressive. So, if you have a baby and have been planning to get a pet for his amusement, you’d better think again. However, if you already have a pet, make sure you take extra efforts to ensure your kid doesn’t have to encounter pet hair on the floor or a possible infection.
– Avoid Hazards from Plastic Bags

Plastic bags can cause accidental asphyxiation and hence, should be kept away from toddlers. Even older kids should be asked to stay away from plastic bags.
– Choose Your Houseplants Wisely

Houseplants can be a major cause of poisoning, making it necessary to carefully select the plants you keep indoors. Plants like poinsettia, croton, oxalis, peace lily, etc., are common in most households. However, parts of these plants are poisonous and can cause minor to severe reactions in pets and humans. So, if you have a toddler, then it is recommended that you don’t place houseplants at the floor level. Instead, you can hang these potted plants from the ceiling of your porch.

Tips for Safety Against Burglars
If you’re looking for tips to make your dwelling safe from burglars and thieves, then here are a few that you’re sure to love!
– Opt for Superior Quality Locks

One of the primary elements of home security is a main door with a high quality lock that is almost impossible to break through. Not only the door, but even the windows should be protected by superior quality locks. These days you can find a wide variety of door locks with complex mechanisms. Choose one that best suits your requirements to stay and feel safe and secure!
– Install a Home Security System

Investing in a home security system is always a good option, irrespective of the area you’re living in. Just like a car alarm that rings when someone touches your car, a home security system is designed such that an alarm rings in the event of forced intrusion or tampering of doors and windows. The cost of installing one depends on whether you want a simple device or a complex mechanism that is computer operated.
– Don’t Turn Off the Lights

Wondering what lights have got to do with preventing theft or burglary? Well, then think this way. If you turn off the lights in all the rooms before you retire for the night or set off for that beach holiday to the Maldives, it is highly probable that burglars lurking around will “know” that there’s nobody at home. So, why make things easier for them?
– Take Care of the Keys

Have you ever seen people hiding the house keys in weird places such as under the doormat? While they might argue that it is safe to do so, the reality is far from it. For who knows who might be observing you? Moreover, fooling around with the keys is never recommended. So, keep them safe and you won’t have to be sorry!
– Install Timer Switches

With a timer switch, you can set the time for the switches to go on and off, without anyone having to be physically present in the house. Wondering how this can help? Well, to passerby’s, this gives the impression that there’s someone inside and the house is not there for the taking. Get the picture?
– Keep Your Valuables Safe

Now, this is important. Have you ever wondered why we, even in our worst nightmares, do not wish to find someone breaking into our house in our absence? It’s because we do not want to lose our valuables, which include jewelry, cash, and important documents, among others. So, the best way to stay safe is to deposit such stuff in a bank. This way, we won’t be living with the constant fear of losing it all one fine day