Deborah Keenaghan's Blog
Although it may seem like the Internet and email have always been an integral part of our daily lives, those modes of modern communication have only been around for the past two decades or so.
With technology like video teleconferencing, online document sharing, and other collaborative tools becoming commonplace in the business arena, more and more companies are allowing (and even encouraging) their employees to work from home -- at least a couple days a week. For better or worse, many employees, managers, and executives are putting in lots of overtime from their home offices.
Whether you're telecommuting for a job or running your own home-based business, having a dedicated work space can make all the difference in your ability to stay focused and productive. Not only can you control distractions by closing the door, but having a separate work space at home makes it easier to stay organized and maintain a professional image. Depending on the layout of your house, the cooperation of your family, and neighborhood zoning regulations, it may even be possible to meet with clients at your home office.
While some people don't have a problem setting up their laptop and working at the kitchen table, in their bedroom, or the living room, problems can arise when your spouse or other members of the family want to use your temporary work space for something else!
Other potential complications are possible, too: When people in your household have easy access to your computer, work files, and research materials, there's also the possibility of accidentally losing unsaved documents, unfinished emails being prematurely sent or closed, and having to deal with spills, sticky surfaces, misplaced work materials, and other miscellaneous mishaps! On the other hand, setting aside a dedicated work space at home for tackling office projects, preparing reports, or creating client proposals can help you avoid losing valuable work, missing deadlines, and looking unprofessional.
Home Offices Are a Selling Point
In addition to making your own life more organized and less chaotic, there's also the advantage of increasing your home's marketability. If you happen to be considering putting your house on the market now or in the near future, having a dedicated office space will help make your home look more appealing to potential buyers.
Today, more than ever, the idea of having a home office is on many people's minds and priority lists -- or at least, their "wish list". When prospective buyers can envision ways in which your home can meet their lifestyle goals, business objectives, and career requirements, they'll be a lot more likely to seriously consider making an offer on your house.
As more and more people pursue work-at-home options, freelancing opportunities, advanced degrees, and home-based businesses, a dedicated office space will continue to be a highly desirable feature for both current and future home owners.
If you want to purchase a home, it pays to establish a homebuying budget. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and narrow your search for your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a homebuying budget.
1. Look at Your Finances
Your finances will play a major role in your ability to purchase a home. Thus, you should evaluate your current financial situation closely so you can map out an effective homebuying journey.
Request a copy of your credit report – you'll be glad you did. You are eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) annually. Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can gain deep insights into your outstanding debt.
If you have outstanding debt, try to pay this down as much as possible. That way, you can boost your credit score, which ultimately will help you improve your chances to acquire your ideal residence.
2. Meet with Banks and Credit Unions
When it comes to buying a home, meeting with banks and credit unions usually is a great idea. That way, you can learn about your home loan options and get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Apply for a mortgage from several banks and credit unions. Then, you can receive various mortgage quotes and select one that suits you perfectly.
Also, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions during a lender consultation. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals – all of whom are happy to help you make an informed mortgage decision. Therefore, if you're unsure about whether to proceed with a 15- or 30-year mortgage or can't decide between an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage, you can ask these mortgage professionals for expert advice.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A homebuying budget is tricky to establish on your own, especially if you are entering the real estate market for the first time. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead for all stages of the homebuying cycle.
During a real estate agent consultation, a housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this professional will help you establish realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Of course, let's not forget about the world-class support that a real estate agent provides after you kick off a home search, either.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about open houses and offer homebuying recommendations and suggestions. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on a house.
Ready to begin your search for your dream home? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can craft a homebuying budget and start your homebuying journey.
When you have kids, the dynamics of your home change. You often go from refined to durable. If we looked at flooring from a simply practical standpoint, we’d end up with uncomfortable flooring's like ceramic, laminate, or engineered wood. That’s why carpets come in handy.
For one, children spend a lot of time playing on the floor. When you put down a carpet and there are children around, you fully expect that there will be spills, blood, and much roughing around done right on the surface. So, you’ll need to choose your fibers carefully when picking a carpet out.
Know that polyester, nylon, and triexta are among the most durable types of fibers. Stay away from wool carpets, as they are really not the best choice for homes with children. Polyester (also known as PET), is a budget friendly, and environmentally friendly type of carpet that provides stain resistance and a long life. Nylon is known for durability and softness. This is another material that’s great if you want a carpet with a long life. Triexta is a unique fiber that provides the highest amount of stain resistance and really will be soil-free.
There is another option when it comes to carpeting and that is modular carpeting. This type of carpeting can be laid out in the form of tiles. If a piece is soiled, stained, or ripped, you’ll be able to just switch out that piece of the carpeting puzzle if it can’t be cleaned. This is an option for homes with children, however, it’s not a popular choice in residential settings. Generally, modular carpeting is used in commercial settings like office buildings, and indoor public places like shopping malls. This can be a good option for you depending on the size of your home and your needs. If you have a room that’s completely dedicated to children, like a playroom, for example, you could use a modular carpet.
Treating The Carpets
There is an option to have your carpets pre-treated with a Scotchgard like chemical. This is also available for your furniture. It helps to prevent your furniture and carpets from stains and soiling, surrounding each fiber for a total protection. Once a fiber is treated, it will never wash or wear off. It’s a good option to treat your home with this especially when you have children.
Whether you decide to do wall-to-wall carpeting or simply place some area rugs around in order to make the floors of your home more durable and comfortable for children, you have some options to take the curse off of the inevitable mess that children will make.
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