Joseph D. Federico's Blog
55 Paragon Rd., Boston, MA 02132
If you want to buy a home in the near future, you’re going to need to really focus on the goal. Buying your first home is no small feat. There are a few habits that you’ll want to start right away once you decide that you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership.
Make Savings Automatic
If you’re going to start saving for all of the expenses that buying a home brings, the best thing that you can do is automate your savings. The down payment is usually more money than most people can even plan for. If you have a small amount of each paycheck go into a dedicated account for the house fund, you’ll be in better shape financially. You can never start saving too early or too much. The goal is to save as much as you possibly can. Put the money in a place where you won’t have easy access to it. If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it!
Check Your Credit Score
Your credit report is one of those things that can’t be magically fixed. It takes some time and a little work to keep your credit score up. You’ll need to make sure that you make on-time payments each and every month. If there are any glaring mistakes on the report, you’ll need to fix them, as it could take some time for any changes to show up. The most important thing is to keep your credit record clean by making on-time payments, refraining form opening too many new accounts, and paying down any outstanding debt. Once you check your credit score and see what you have to work with, you’ll be in good standing in no time.
Become A DIYer
When you move into a home, there’s a lot that may need to be done. If you can do some of the work yourself, instead of hiring contractors and other people, you may be able to save some money. This wouldn’t include anything dangerous like electrical work or complicated plumbing issues. There are plenty of projects that you can safely take on in a home that will save money and keep your home in great shape.
Learn To Budget
Owning a home can actually be cheaper than renting in some cases. If you learn to budget, factoring in things like food, utilities, and how much you spend on entertainment, you’ll see how much you have to work with. See how much you’re spending and then decide where you can cut down costs from there. You’ll find more money that you can be saving towards a home. The best part about buying a home is that you own it! There is no middle man telling you what you can and cannot do in a space.
Moving to a new home quite literally uproots your entire life. From moving day on, you’ll be learning to navigate your new home and rebuilding your daily routines.
The first week in your new home is both the most excited and the most chaotic. Boxes are likely still scattered around the house, you’re constantly forgetting where the light switches are, and trying to figure out how to arrange your furniture.
With all of these changes going on it can be easy to get overwhelmed in your new home. That’s why we’ve put together this list of things you should do in your first week at your new house to get settled in and prepared for your new life.
On Moving Day
Day one of your move can only run so smoothly. As a result, it’s important to try and relax throughout the day. Remind yourself that you don’t need to unpack and arrange everything today. It’s also a good idea to keep a checklist of everything you need to accomplish on moving day, whether that’s paying movers, handing over keys, or turning on utilities.
Since the majority of your belongings will likely be in disarray for the next few days, you should make sure you have a box of your daily essentials clearly labeled that you can unpack first. We’re talking about toothbrushes, toiletries, and anything else you’ll absolutely need to get your day started.
The First Week in Your New Home
Once you’ve made it past the first day the hardest part is over. It will soon be easier to get a good night’s sleep in your new bedroom, and your morning routine will run more smoothly.
To be best prepared for the first week in your new home, we’ve prepared a checklist of important items to tackle so that you’re fully settled in as soon as possible.
Familiarize yourself with the home. Safety should always be your first priority, even at home. Take the time to find out where your circuit breaker is, your water main valve, light switches, fire extinguishers, and so on. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or just change the batteries so you know the exact date they were changed.
It’s also a good idea to develop a fire escape route. Since you and your family aren’t as familiar with the layout of your new home as your old one, it’s important to understand where the best exits are in case of an emergency. Pick a landmark outside that you’ll meet at in case of a fire.
Change your locks. A top priority for your first week should be changing out your locks. Not everyone is careful with their keys and discriminate in who they give them to. Whether you choose to hire a locksmith or buy and replace the locks yourself, it’s better to get this task accomplished sooner rather than later.
Deep clean. You won’t soon have another opportunity to clean a house that isn’t filled with meticulously arranged furniture. The first week in your new home is a good time to clean the carpets, scrub the corners of each room, and do a thorough cleaning of your refrigerator and cabinets. It’s tempting to start putting items where they’ll go as soon as you arrive, but cleaning first will save you time later. The same principle applies for painting your walls.
Choosing the right lighting for your home not only enhances it visually, but can also make it a safer and more secure place to live.
While an interior decorator or electrician can offer you additional suggestions about upgrading your home's lighting efficiency and appearance, here are a few helpful lighting tips and ideas to consider.
- Dimmer switches can be a highly desirable feature to include in most rooms in your house. You only use them on an as-needed basis, and they're great for reducing eye strain, creating a more relaxing environment, and conserving electricity. Although dimmer switches are relatively easy to install, hiring a reasonably priced electrician is good insurance against getting an electrical shock or doing it incorrectly.
- Flood lights strategically placed in different areas of your property can help keep away trespassers, burglars, and vandals. Motion-activated security lights are especially effective at deterring crime and sending intruders on their way. While lighting alone does not comprise a fail-proof home security system, it is one of several methods that, when used together, can keep your home, property, and family safe.
- Adequate outside lighting helps prevent family members and visitors from falling, tripping, and getting injured on your property when approaching your home at night. This is especially important for those who are elderly or vision impaired.
- Outdoor lighting can also be effectively used for decorative purposes on porches, patios, backyard decks, and walkways.
If you're wondering why old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are becoming harder to find on store shelves, it's because of two things:
- The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: It was enacted to for several reasons, including eliminating wasteful energy products from the market, helping the United States become more energy independent, and reducing harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants. Although some consumers prefer the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, it's interesting to know that they're only 10% efficient. What that means, says the EPA, is that 90% of the electricity it uses is lost to heat.
- Consumers want to save money on energy consumption. Here's what the EPA says on the subject: "Because lighting accounts for approximately 12% of the average household’s energy bill, more efficient options will help consumers save money on their utility bills."
With its economical features and versatile uses in and around the house, there are a lot of benefits to be had from choosing the right lighting.