Diana Gould's Blog
Day 1: Smoke detectorsThe most basic fire safety items that each home has are the smoke detectors. On day one take the kids around the house and show them where each smoke detector is. Have them block their ears and show them how to test the detectors. Change all of the batteries as well. Don't be conservative or frugal with batteries when it comes to smoke detectors; it's worth the extra few bucks to know that you can depend on them.
Day 2: Fire extinguishersOn the second day, bring the kids around the house again showing them the location of fire extinguishers and explaining their function. If there ever is a small house fire you don't want to fumbling around with an extinguisher trying to learn how to use it. Explain that these are not toys and can be dangerous. If your kids are old enough to be home alone, teach them how to use the extinguishers. If the kids are too young tell them to seek you out immediately if they see or smell smoke, or think there might be a fire. Read the pressure gauge on all of your fire extinguishers to make sure they're adequately pressurized. Replace fire extinguishers that are over twelve years old.
Day 3: Escape planEvery house should have an evacuation plan in case of a fire. Each room should have two escape routes in case one is blocked off by fire or some other barrier. Have your children go through the evacuation routes for each of their rooms. Do this for yourself as well to ensure there are no problems with your plan. Then take the family outside to a meeting spot away from the house. Tell them that this is where each member of the family will meet in case of a fire.
Day 4: Fire hazardsThe average house has unlimited potential for fire hazards. Curtains near heaters or ovens, candles too close to flammable objects, and even power outlets can all cause a house fire. Before today's lesson, go through your house and find potential fire hazards and teach your family how to correct these habits during today's lesson. If your kids are old enough to cook, run through various cooking fire hazards as well.
Day 5: ReviewToday, review the previous four days' lessons with your family. You can also use today to cover the top eight causes of house fires according to the National Fire Protection Association:
- Electrical and lighting
- Dryers and washing machines
- Children playing with fire (matches, lighters, etc.)
- Christmas trees
If you intend to list your house, it helps to determine a competitive initial home asking price. That way, you can stir up plenty of interest in your residence as soon as it becomes available.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to establish a competitive price for your home, and these include:
1. You can boost the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.
A competitive home price is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Thus, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.
Oftentimes, it helps to review the prices of comparable houses in your city or town before you list your residence. If you understand the prices of similar homes in your area, you can set a competitive price from day one. With this price in place, you can generate interest in your home and move one step closer to selling your house.
2. You can minimize the risk of alienating potential buyers.
A home's price is one of the key factors that a buyer will consider as he or she evaluates the real estate market. If your home is overpriced based on its age and condition, you risk alienating potential buyers. And if no buyers show interest in your home, you may be forced to lower your home's price down the line.
Setting a competitive home price requires you to take a close look at your residence and examine its pros and cons. If you can identify your house's strengths and weaknesses, you'll be better equipped than ever before to understand the buyer's perspective. Then, you can establish a price in line with buyers' expectations.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. This inspection enables you to gain comprehensive insights into any underlying home problems. As a result, you can use the inspection to identify any home issues and ensure these problems won't prevent you from maximizing the profits from your home sale.
3. You won't have to worry about selling yourself short.
A competitive home price likely is based on a wide range of housing market data and a house's age and condition. Therefore, it helps minimize the risk that you'll sell yourself short.
By establishing a competitive home price, you can feel confident that your residence is priced fairly. And if you deploy a data-driven approach to selling your house, you should have no trouble establishing a competitive home price.
Lastly, if you need help determining how to price your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the home selling journey and ensure you can list your house at a competitive price. In addition, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you optimize the value of your home.
Ready to list your residence? Set a competitive price for your house, and you can bolster your chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.
Home renovations are generally thought of as a good thing. You can update your home for your own comfort. New amenities will make your life easier. Your home can expand in size. Whatever you are planning to do in your home is bound to have a positive affect. One thing to be aware of when you’re gearing up for the process of any type of home renovation is that of your home insurance. You want to protect yourself and your home as your go through the stages of home renovations. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you complete renovations you desire in your home without having surprise insurance bills.
Check That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage
Before you sign a contract with any contractor be sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage. In particular you want to be sure that they have workers‘ compensation coverage and liability insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for the necessary certificates and confirmation of insurance coverage before you even sign the contract. It’s your right as a consumer to know that your contractor is covered properly.
Beware Of Subcontractors As Well
Just because your general contractor is covered doesn’t mean that all subcontractors that are hired have the correct insurance. Electricians, plumbers, and other specialty contractors will need their own insurance on the job. The same rules apply as when you’re hiring any other contractor. Check with the general contractor to understand if their policy will cover all workers that are hired, or if these individuals need to carry their own insurance policies. Check with your home insurance company to see what your home insurance does and doesn’t cover during a renovation period on your home. The more knowledge that you have going into the process, the better it is for you.
For Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Once the renovations are complete, you’ll need to reassess the policy coverage amounts that you have for your home insurance policy. The renovations that you have completed will undoubtedly increase the value of your home causing you to need to increase the replacement value of your home on your insurance policy. Don’t forget to include everything from new appliances to furniture that has been replaced in the renovation. This will help you to avoid any gaps in coverage. This way, you’ll know that your home will be fully covered. With the right insurance coverage you’ll know that your home is can be rebuilt to the same specifications in the event of a complete loss. You always want this peace of mind as a homeowner.
The age-old problem of trying to stretch your household budget is a challenge nearly everyone grapples with at one time or another. If you're confounded by the fact that your paycheck(s) seem to disappear within days of depositing them, it may be time to examine your spending habits.
Creating a written budget is often an eye-opening experience, especially if you haven't taken the time to do that recently -- or ever! Itemizing all your monthly and periodic expenses can not only help you realize where the money's going, but it can also give you a greater feeling of control over your life. As an added bonus, reviewing your household budget a couple times a year will also increase your awareness of your debts, your income, and your spending habits. Once you know how tight your budget is and whether you need to reduce expenses or increase income, you'll be in a stronger position to effectively manage your family's finances.
- Creating a budget: Whether you prefer to use spreadsheets, software, or just a simple income-versus-expenses chart, setting up a budget will help put you in the driver's seat of your cash flow situation. While there are many distinctions between running a business and managing a household, there are probably more similarities than differences!
- Identifying "money leaks": If your family's budget seems tighter than you'd like it to be, one possible reason is that you're spending more than you need to on some expenses. The perfect examples are homeowners' and automobile insurance. You've probably seen and heard countless ads for well-known insurance companies that say they can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your insurance policies. If you've been dismissing those claims as mere hype, consider the possibility that you may actually be paying more on your insurance premiums than necessary. It may be worth your while to have your insurance agent review your policy with you to make sure you're getting all the coverage you need and the discounts to which your entitled. The best way to remove any doubt is to get two or three quotes from other reputable insurance companies. You can often do this through email or online, so you shouldn't have to go to time-consuming office appointments just to get a few insurance quotes. To compare "apples to apples," make sure to use identical coverage amounts and deductibles for each estimate your seeking; hopefully the agents you deal with will remind you of that. It's also possible to save hundreds more dollars a year by contacting your cable TV company, Internet service provider, and cell phone service (It might be one company) to discuss ways your bill can be lowered. The first step would be to examine your latest invoice and determine whether you're paying for services you don't use or need. If you see charges that are excessive or confusing, don't hesitant to get on the phone and have those issues clarified. If inconsistent utility bills are a problem, then switching over to a monthly budget plan will make your expenses more predictable and manageable.