Sanders Properties Inc's Blog
When it comes to making your home and property safer for your family and others, the Boy Scouts motto says it all: "Be prepared!"
While it's next to impossible to completely eliminate all risks and potential hazards in and around your home, there are dozens of things you can do to make your property safer.
Every family's safety needs are unique, but here are a few basic precautions that can help reduce the chances of home accidents occurring -- both large and small.
Stair safety: All things being equal, it's riskier to walk down a flight of stairs than it is to walk on level ground. While that may seem obvious, most people don't stop and think about the potential risks of descending stairs as they're about to do it. Although tripping and falling on stairs can be injurious to just about anyone, it's especially dangerous for elderly people. From a homeowner's standpoint, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of family or friends stumbling on your stairs. On an ongoing basis, it's necessary to make sure there are no loose objects on the stairs that could cause someone to lose their footing. Keeping stairs clear of toys, building blocks, and slipping hazards can be challenging if you have young children. Until they're taught to pick up after themselves -- which might occur sometime between now and college -- stair safety is an important issue to be aware of. Another key strategy for preventing household accidents is to make sure railings are properly installed and firmly anchored. Basement stairs can pose additional risks because they're sometimes inadequately lighted. Concrete floors at the bottom of some staircases can make a fall even more hazardous (not to mention painful). Increasing lighting, if needed, and making the bottom step more visible so that it's not accidentally skipped, are two preventative measures for reducing the chances of anyone falling on basement stairs.
Fire safety: Most people are aware that it's essential to have several working smoke detectors placed in strategic locations in your kitchen, bedroom area, and other parts of your house. Even though it's common knowledge, people don't always remember to install enough of them, replace worn out batteries when necessary, or test them every few months to make sure they're in good working condition. Some people remove the battery to silence smoke alarms while they're cooking, which can be dangerous if they don't remember to put them back afterwards. If your kitchen smoke detector has a "push to hush" button, then that can be a safer way to temporarily quiet a smoke detector when you're cooking dinner. Home fire safety also entails several other precautions, including having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (and other areas), having a second-floor fire-escape ladder available, and teaching children how to avoid and respond to potential fire dangers. More detailed information and educational materials on fire safety is available from government agencies and non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.
Stay tuned to this blog for more helpful tips, pointers, and ideas for keeping your home safer and more secure.
"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!" That saying (and old song) has been around for generations, but it's as true today as it was a century ago. Almost everyone would agree that your home should be a refuge from the calamity and dangers of the outside world.
A related saying which has been repeated for even longer is "A man's home is his castle." That age-old concept not only emphasizes that fact that we all deserve to be safe and secure in our own homes, but it's also the basis for certain legal principles. Unfortunately, the mere existence of our rights as homeowners does not prevent burglaries, break-ins, and criminal intrusions from happening, so it's necessary to take steps to help protect your home and family from crime.
The good news is that there are literally dozens of things you can do to make your home a safer, more secure place. While it can be costly (but often worth it) to implement an elaborate, high-tech home security system, there are plenty of inexpensive measures you can take to discourage burglars. Here are a few crime-prevention tactics which can greatly reduce the chances of a break-in or intrusion taking place at your home.
Be security minded: If you live in a low-crime area, it's easy to let your guard down and become complacent. When it comes to keeping your property, family, and possessions secure, though, it's much better to "err on the side of caution." One regrettable mistake many people make is to leave their doors unlocked when they go out to "run a few quick errands." Not only can errands take longer than originally planned, but experienced burglars can be in and out of your home in minutes. By being consistent with locking doors and securing your home before you leave, you'll significantly reduce the chances of becoming a crime statistic. Instilling that awareness and those habits in your children is also an important element of any effective home security strategy.
Simple security solutions: Although glass panels alongside a front door can be an attractive design touch, it can provide potential intruders with a glimpse of the inside of your home -- including its layout, a view of valuables left out in the open, and whether your security system is activated. There are several ways you can obscure the view people have of your home's interior, including frosting the glass using a special spray, temporarily attaching a decorative window film, or installing etched glass. Customized window blinds may also do the trick.
Innovative ideas: Burglars generally tend to target homes that appear vacant or unsecured. Half the battle is creating the impression that someone is home, even if you're not. While you've undoubtedly heard about the technique of hooking up timers to your lights to make them go on and off at designated times, here's an interesting variation on the theme: You can purchase a device for $20 or $30 that simulates the flickering light that a TV gives off when it's being watched. While this is not a standalone or foolproof technique, it can be a low-cost part of an overall home security strategy.
Purchasing a house on a budget can be difficult for even the most diligent property buyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you create an effective homebuying budget and reduce the temptation to spend beyond your means to acquire your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a property buying budget.
1. Examine Your Finances Closely
Your income, everyday expenses and other financial factors may impact your ability to buy a house. Therefore, you should analyze your finances closely to determine how much you can spend on a residence.
Once you evaluate your finances, you can establish a price range for your home search. Next, you can kick off a house search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream house.
2. Get Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number based on your outstanding debt, length of credit history and other factors. It may have a major impact on your ability to secure home financing and establish a successful homebuying budget. As such, you should review your credit score and work to improve it before you enter the housing market.
To obtain your credit score, you can request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau. Thus, you should take advantage of this complimentary perk and obtain your credit report as soon as you can.
If you identify outstanding debt on your credit report, you should work to pay this off. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, you should contact the bureau that provided the report to fix these mistakes.
3. Meet with Lenders
Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss various home financing options. If you consult with these lenders, you may be better equipped than ever before to create a successful homebuying budget before you launch a house search.
Ultimately, lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you get a mortgage prior to searching for a house, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can speed up your home search and discover your dream house faster than ever before.
As you get ready to begin your quest for your ideal residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can put you in touch with top lenders in your area and help you secure home financing. Furthermore, a real estate agent can tailor a home search to your property buying budget. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you negotiate with a seller's agent to ensure you can get the best price on any home, at any time.
Create an effective homebuying budget – use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish a property buying budget and use it to streamline your home search.
Deciding whether to set up a home showing sometimes can be a tough decision. Yet a home showing can make a world of difference for a buyer as he or she searches for the ideal residence.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to schedule a home showing, and these include:
1. You can look beyond a home listing.
A home listing generally offers details about a house's age and features, as well as photographs of different areas of a residence. But a home listing can only provide so much information. Fortunately, a home showing enables you to assess a house in person and decide whether a residence is right for you.
During a house showing, you can walk around a residence and view each room. If you want to further pursue a residence after a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you find a house fails to match your expectations, you can always continue your search for your dream home.
2. You can gain comprehensive insights into a house's condition.
When it comes to evaluating a house's condition, it typically is a good idea to attend a showing. That way, you can get an up-close look at a home's condition and determine whether a residence needs major or minor repairs.
A home showing enables you to analyze a residence both inside and out. After a showing is complete, you can decide whether you are satisfied with the condition of a home and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
3. You can imagine what it would be like if you purchase a home.
A home showing makes it easy to envision what life may be like if you purchase a particular house. As such, a showing may prove to be crucial as you pursue your dream residence.
If you feel good about a house following a showing, you should not hesitate to submit a competitive homebuying proposal. Conversely, if you feel uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to pursue other options.
Of course, hiring a real estate agent may be exceedingly valuable as you search for your ideal house. A real estate agent can schedule home showings at your convenience and provide plenty of tips to help you pursue residences in any housing market. By doing so, a real estate agent will empower you with the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide after you find your dream house, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire your ideal residence. And if you have any concerns or questions as you move along the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Ready to find your dream residence? Schedule a home showing, and you take the next step to acquire your ideal house.
American homes have been growing larger for decades. This trend is partly due to personal preference for more space, and partly caused by local laws mandating minimum square-footage of all new properties.
Owning and maintaining a home is a huge expense. Especially if you’re heating and maintaining parts of your home that you don’t really need.
As a result, a growing number of people are renting out parts of their home in various ways. From Airbnb to subletting, and all the way up to renting out their basement as a separate apartment, there are a number of ways you can earn money on your home.
The appeal is obvious. However, there are a number of factors you should consider before renting out part of your home. After all, your home is the place you and your family spend your days and nights, and sometimes the idea of having a stranger in your midst can be frightening to some homeowners.
For others, however, welcoming people into their home is a fun way to meet new people, help someone find affordable housing in a place they otherwise wouldn’t, and earn some extra money.
Know your local laws
It should be noted up front that not everyone can just legally rent out a portion of their home. Whether it is due to local laws, building code requirements, or homeowners association rules, there are a number of reasons you might not be able to rent out part of your home.
Before you consider listing a room or portion of your home, read up on the landlord-tenant laws in your area to make sure you’re comfortable with your legal obligations.
Make the necessary preparations
Renting a room in your home isn’t just a matter of giving someone the key to the front door. You’ll have to plan to install deadbolts, remove doorknobs with inside locking mechanisms, make repairs to the room and any amenities the tenant will have access to and document the state of your home.
Make a clear renter’s agreement
Would it make you uncomfortable to have a dog or cat in your home? Does your home have a smoking policy?
There are a number of things you should think about and add to your renter’s agreement and any online listing you post. This will help you narrow down your renter options and give you a better chance of finding someone right for your home.
Finding a tenant
There are a number of ways you can find people to live in your home. Most homeowners list their spare room or apartment online, but it can also be a good idea to reach out to people you know and trust.
Once you have interested parties, you might want to purchase a background check and determine if you’ll require certain documents (proof of income, credit score, etc.).
There’s a reason you have to do so much paperwork when you rent an apartment--the landlord wants to make sure they are covered in case anything goes wrong.
Before signing an agreement with your new renter, make sure it covers all of the “what-if” scenarios that could happen. There are several sample lease agreements online that you can use as a template.
Furthermore, once the tenant moves in, be sure that your discussions and agreements are documented. If the tenant denies you access to perform a check for pests, make sure you have some documentation that shows this denial.