Safety Tips For Your Living Room

You and your family spend the most time in your living room. This is a great place for conversation, relaxing, and fun. The place where the family gathers often should also be a place of safety and security for everyone. Every nook of the room should be covered from the floors to the furniture to the fireplace. You can improve the safety of your living space without sacrificing on the style of the space. A safe living space is all part of a safe home. 

Be Cautious Of Fires

Fire safety should be a top priority when it comes to your living space. Especially if you have young kids or pets in the home, you’ll need to make sure that little hands and paws cannot get anywhere near fireplaces, candles, or burning incense. Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds with these items. Use baby gates to block off certain areas near the fireplace to keep children and pets away. Burn candles in places that are out of the reach of little hands. Also, anything that’s burning should be secured and unable to be knocked over. 

Be Mindful Of Cords

Cords sprawled throughout the living room can spell disaster. These can lead to tripping, electrocution risks, and an overall mess. Use clever ways to keep cords organized and out of sight. You can buy cord keeper units at your local hardware store, or you can create your own. All you need is a box with holes to filter the cords through. This will keep tiny hands and paws out of the reach of loose cords          

Install Security Systems

Even when you’re home, it can be a good idea to install a security system. You should always have an alarm system installed near the front door of your home, which typically is near your living space. Security systems don’t need to be an eyesore either. There are plenty of systems that actually blend right into your walls, making them an even better choice to hide them from the likes of thieves or intruders. One idea is to hide the alarm system components behind a painting or wall canvas. This is a good security measure for your children too. They won’t have access to the alarm system, so you don’t have to worry about them believing that it is a toy.


Keep furniture out of walking paths in your living space. It can cause problems for young children who are still learning how to control their own movements. Bulky furniture that gets in the way can also cause a hazard for adults too. You don’t want sharp corners or bulky elements that can contribute to trips, falls, and other injuries. Always keep the safety of the very young and older adults in mind.      

Understanding Down Payments and How to Save for Them

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial milestones you’ll reach in your life. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it can be scary to take the plunge and make a down payment on your first home.

Down payments are one element that makes up the factors which determine your monthly mortgage payments, and in turn, how much you’ll be paying toward your home in total. So, it’s important to understand just how much to save for a down payment.

In this article, we’ll talk about down payments, why they matter, and your options for saving up for a down payment.

Why down payments matter

A down payment is simply the amount of money a buyer pays at the time of closing on the house. Down payments help assure lenders that you will make your monthly mortgage payments because you have invested a substantial amount of money into the house and therefore risk losing your down payment if you fail to pay the mortgage and your house is foreclosed on.

If you’re eager to buy your first home, you may want to make the smallest down payment possible so you can move in sooner. However, a smaller down payment typically means a larger monthly mortgage payment. That’s because your mortgage payment depends on several factors.

When a lender determines how much they will lend you towards your home and how much your monthly mortgage payments will be, their formula takes into account your down payment, your credit score, and the value of the property. The higher your credit score and the higher your down payment is, the less your monthly payments will be.

Mortgage types and down payments

Many first time home buyers cannot afford large down payments on their first home (20% or more). As a result, there are loan types insured by the Federal Housing Administration that are offered for as low as 3.5% of the mortgage amount.

If you aren’t approved for an FHA loan but plan on making a down payment of less than 20%, you can still buy a home with private mortgage insurance (PMI). With PMI you pay a monthly premium for your insurance in addition to your monthly mortgage payments.

How long and how much to save

So, how much should you save? The short answer is as much as possible. However, if you need to move soon because of life circumstances, it isn’t always an option to hold off on moving for long periods of time.

If you’re currently renting each month at high prices, it might make more sense to put that money towards your first home, an asset which will likely increase in value, rather than spend it on rent which you get no return on.  

One of the best ways to save for a down payment is to set up a new cash savings account that will automatically deposit a portion of your paycheck each week. Having an off-limits account is a great way to save without the temptation of spending it on luxuries if the money would normally be sitting in your checking account.

Another option is to start investing. If you’re in no rush to buy a home and have the financial resources, investing pays off much more than a savings account does when it comes to increasing assets.

Regardless of how you choose to save, the most important takeaway is that you take action now to start saving and you don’t deviate from your savings plan for any reason.

How To Choose The Right Location To Buy A Home

When it’s time to buy a new home, you’ll hear a lot about the importance of location. How can you choose a place? Whether you’re moving around the corner or across the country, there are a few essential things that you should know in order to select the best place for you to live. Read on for some questions that you should ask yourself when trying to find a good fit for a  location to live. 

What Should Be Close?

There’s more to a home than what schools are nearby or how close you are to work. While these things are essential, you’ll need to understand more about our lifestyle to find an excellent location. You’ll have to look at your life and your family’s life on a day-to-day and weekly basis. What types of activities do you enjoy? How close do you want to be to a grocery store, a gym, or a shopping center? How close do you want to live to the city? The mountains? The beach? Does your family enjoy outdoor recreation like hiking or walking through the park? Making sure that the things that are important to you and your family are accessible will be a big part of choosing a location to move.

How Walkable Is The Neighborhood?

If your kids will be walking t school, or you enjoy daily strolls with the family dog, the walkability of a neighborhood is important. Many places allow you to walk everywhere right out your front door to the grocery store or the hair salon without ever setting foot in a car. You may even want to be able to walk to a bus or subway in order to get to work each day. Walkability is an important aspect to consider when looking at home locations. 

Who Lives Nearby?

You may want to consider who lives nearby when looking at different neighborhoods to move. If you wish to live near family or know some good friends who live close, this could be a good starting point for finding the right location to live. It’s always easier to make the transition to a new area when you know a few people.

How Quiet Is Too Quiet?

Some people love peace and quiet. Other people need a lively environment that allows them to access the hustle and bustle any time they choose. Knowing your want for peace is a big lifestyle choice and a large part of selecting a location to live in. The closer you move to a big city, the easier your access to the more exciting side of life will be. The further away you live from the city, the more likely you are to have more quiet.      

The Pros And Cons Of New Construction Homes

Once you’re ready to buy a home, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want. Should you buy a new construction home, or look for an existing one? Builders may refer to existing homes as “used.” This term makes them sound much less appealing. Truthfully, there are many advantages to both new and existing houses. 

Benefits Of New Homes

One of the most visible benefits of buying a new home is that it is untouched. The home is clean, and everything is sparkly new. You know that nothing in the house needs to be repaired. That is one of the most significant incentives to buy a new construction home. Having no repairs offsets some of the typical costs that homeowners incur once they buy. 

Latest Technology And Amenities

One of the other benefits of new homes is that they are not dated. You’ll have access to all of the latest technologies and amenities in a new construction home. The home will be energy efficient which will save you some money on utilities. You’ll have all of the technological comforts that you need in order to keep your devices charged and your in-home entertainment on point.

You May Be Able To Select Features

If you do buy a new construction, often, you’ll have the option to choose the details of the home. Some key features, colors, and styles will be in your control, so you can’t complain about them once you move in! 

Less Competition

There may be less competition for a new home. This is because most new homes are present in neighborhoods that are just being built. All the home on the street are most likely vacant, so people looking for new construction have a lot to choose from in one area.  

The Cons To New Construction 

Although buying new construction sounds fantastic, there are a few drawbacks. First, you’re pretty much relegated to one location- wherever the new homes are being built which is generally on a new street full of new homes. The area is essential especially when it comes to your home’s value increasing over time. Many times, new construction homes are built by the same construction company. All of the houses on the street look the same, and there may be little differentiation between them other than the color. If you’re someone who likes variety, this is something to consider.

Keep in mind that you can always buy an existing home that may be less expensive than new construction and do whatever it takes to make it your own. This is a practical option for many people. Your options may be a bit fewer if you do decide to look for new construction homes, so it’s good to go into the home buying process with an open mind as to all the possibilities that are available.