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Tackling projects around the house allows you to boost your skills, saves you money and ensures your home stays in peak condition -- usually. While DIY projects can be safe, successful and rewarding, there are some instances where you're better off leaving the work to a pro. From jobs that are dangerous to those that require specialty tools for success, the following projects can turn your DIY dreams into nightmares: 

Don't DIY these Home Projects: 

Roof Repairs and Heavy Tree Work

Both of these tasks take place off the ground and pose a significant risk of injury, even to those who have experience and are working with full teams. Taking down a large tree puts you and your home in jeopardy, while roof work is one of the leading causes of injuries for construction workers. Avoid these high-risk jobs and hire a pro with the equipment to work safely and well, even off the ground. 

Big Electric Projects

Most of us can swap out a light bulb or the fixture it belongs in, but more extensive and complicated repairs and upgrades require a pro. In some larger projects, you'll need to have the work approved and ensure that it is up to code (particularly true if you are repairing or readying a rental property). In others, the risk of injuring yourself is just too great. Even if you avoid injury, a single mistake in your work can lead to a fire hazard and put your home and family at risk. If you need specialized tools, have a job that requires a full inspection or that could result in a fire hazard, leave the work to a professional. 

Hazardous Material Mitigation

You may be able to scrape away that mold, remove smoke odors or strip the lead paint in your home, but it is generally a bad idea. Any project that exposes you or your home to environmental hazards needs to be done by a pro. You could injure yourself during the process -- and even if you escape injury, you could end up missing part of the pieces you intend to remove. In this case, you'll actually increase your family's exposure to dangerous mold, lead or asbestos. Leave these hazards to a pro for your own safety and well-being. 

Skip these projects and use your time, talent and tools to tackle just about anything else around the house -- you'll stay safe, save money and get the results you want. too. 

 

 


Image by allPhoto Bangkok from Pixabay

In a perfect world, every HOA would find an amazing property management company, and the union of the two organizations would last forever. Unfortunately, this world can be imperfect sometimes, and there are many reasons why the agreements between property management companies and HOAs may need to be dissolved from time to time. If your HOA is switching property management companies, you might be facing a lot of unknowns. If there's a change of property management companies looming in your not-too-distant future, here are some things you should keep in mind:

1. Print All of Your Financial Records

Maybe you've paid ahead a little, perhaps you're behind a smidge, or conceivably, you're all paid up and in good standing with a zero balance. No matter the case, you don't want any confusion to take place regarding your account. Print or save copies of your ledger balance on the last day in which it's accessible to you; it's a good idea to print copies a few days before the expected termination date, too, in case you unexpectedly lose access to your account.

2. Obtain Contact Information of the New Company Immediately

You don't need to wait until someone gives you the new company's contact information. As a homeowner, it's your right to have the contact information of the new property managers. If you've been given the name, you should easily be able to find contact information online. If you've not been given the name of your new property management firm, talk to your board of directors to clear up any confusion and ensure transparency within the community.

3. Continue Making Payments

Just because you haven't received an invoice, it doesn't mean you're not on the hook for your HOA fees. Just as you'd have to pay your car payment or cell phone bill even if you didn't receive a statement, your community expects you to make timely payments whether you're receiving a bill or not. The tricky part when new companies take over management of properties usually boils down to timing: which company is responsible for taking your money and cashing your checks at the time you send it in? If you're unsure, reach out to your board or the most recent property management company for direction. Again, be sure to keep record of all payments you make in case there's a discrepancy when management changes hands.

Don't let the fear of the unknown keep you from protecting your property. There are a lot of moving parts when HOAs switch property management companies, but once you've done your homework and have a better understanding of what the process looks like, you'll be better prepared to put your real estate investment in the best position possible.


Seeing your desire to buy a waterfront property through is a big accomplishment. Before you sign on the dotted lines, there are a few things that you should know about the process of choosing the perfect waterfront property for you. 


Decide What You Need


The first step in finding the right property of any kind is understanding your own needs. How do you want to use the property? Will it be your year-round home, or will you be there only a portion of the year? Really map out what your priorities are when it comes to searching for waterfront properties. From here, you can figure out what areas you’d like to search in and what type of property you want to find to suit you. What types of activities will you be doing at your property? Will a lake property do the job or do you need an ocean escape? Is canoeing or kayaking a part of your dream, or is simply sitting by the water enough enjoyment for your needs? Answering all of these questions can help you to narrow down your needs for a waterfront property. 


Touring Properties


As with any other type of home search, you should take the time to scope out the properties that you’re interested in. This means not only looking at the properties themselves but looking at the communities and neighborhoods as well. What does the area have to offer you? Is it near a town or nestled away in a secluded spot? Remember that with a typical house the size of the home is what contributes to the majority of the value of the home. With a waterfront property, the surroundings are key. The closer to the water you are, the more valuable your piece of real estate is. Consider all of the typical factors when looking at properties along with the additional concerns of being close to the amenities and natural pleasures that you crave. 


Other Important Things To Consider


Other things that you should consider in finding your perfect piece of waterfront heaven are things like:


  • How close is the beach?
  • Does the beach or lake have easy access?
  • Is there an adequate amount of privacy at this property?
  • What kind of view is there?


The more breathtaking the views and the more space between you and your neighbors will give you an advantage not only in your own living situation but in renting out the property and even selling it in the future. 


There are a lot of things that go into making the decision of finding the right waterfront property. Sometimes, hiring an experienced realtor in the area can be just what you need to understand all the aspects of your investment from the area to the type of home you choose. Don’t be afraid to hire an experienced realtor to help you in your search.   



Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The new normal that all Americans are living during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in how virtually every industry functions, including the real estate market. One of the areas where COVID019 has most affected the real estate industry is during the showing process. If you have your home on the market or plan on listing it soon, there are a few things that you will want to be aware of when you plan fo the showing of your home.

Showing Blocks May Be More Prudent

Open houses can present a challenge for many homeowners as there may be limits on how many people you can have in your home at one time. Additionally, individual private showings may not be as realistic either, as it would mean a thorough sanitization of your home each time a potential buyer wishes to see your home. Instead, showing blocks may be the most efficient way to hold showings. This would involve scheduling private showings in multiple hour blocks, so that you can show multiple prospective buyers the home, and only need to thoroughly sanitize once.

Have Everything Open and Ready-to-View

Determine what areas your potential buyers will like to see and make sure that they are open and easy to access without having to touch doorknobs or handles. This will make your buyers more comfortable as they will not need to come into contact with surfaces much more likely to contain germs. This means you will want to have the doors to all rooms and closets open and maybe the pantry and some of the cupboards in the kitchen where the prospective buyer may want to see the size. 

Offer Viewers Protective Gear

You should always have protective gear available to help protect the transference of germs into your home. Booties for guests' shoes can not only help prevent the transmission of germs but also keep your carpets clean. You should also have masks and gloves available for visitors to put on during the tour and hand sanitizer for them to use when their tour is completed. Not only will having buyers in protective gear provide you with peace-of-mind, but it will also make them feel more at ease knowing that you are taking the extra precautions.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent to Perform a Basic Screening Before Showings

Even though it may seem like common sense to abstain from bettering someone's home when you are ill during this time, it does not hurt to ask your agent to verbally ask potential buyers if they have been ill. If viewers are currently sick, the agent can offer to provide them with a virtual tour in lieu of a live one.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 is changing the way real estate showings will occur, and by taking the extra precautions above, you will provide better safety for your family as well as the potential buyers viewing you home. 



 Photo by Davie Bicker via Pixabay

There are plenty of maintenance concerns to think about when owning a home. Once you’ve completed your purchase and settled in comfortably, it’s important to remember that there will be no landlord to come around and fix those leaky faucets. You’ll need to either fix them yourself or pay to have a professional tackle the job.

Protecting Your Investment: Which Tools Do Homeowners Need?

Physical Tools

1. Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is a classic everyday tool for good reason. With a flat die that is perfect for pounding and a second side featuring a V-shaped notch for extracting nails and other household items from wall or wood safely.

2. Manual Screwdriver Set

Investing in a manual screwdriver set makes it easy to assemble furniture, tighten cabinet doors, remove light switch covers and so much more. Look for a set with multiple blade tips and sizes to get the most from your kit.

3. Cordless Drill

While slightly more expensive than other household tools, a cordless drill will come in very handy over the years. Whether you need to hang a new art piece securely or it’s time to drill a few bolts for your new flat-screen TV, a battery-powered drill will help you get the task done quickly and efficiently.

Financial Tools

1. HomeBudget App

When purchasing a new home, you’ll likely find that the spending doesn’t slow down for quite some time after all the necessary paperwork is completed. With this handy app, you can enter your spending directly after each purchase and share it with other authorized users in your household to keep track of your budget.

2. FileThis

You’re also likely to have a huge amount of important paperwork to keep track of after closing on your new home. If you’re the type of person who struggles to organize your ever-growing stack of financial paperwork, this tool can help. Essentially, this tool works as a digital filing cabinet, logging and organizing your paperwork in a user-friendly system that works.

3. Puddle

Feeling a little cash-strapped after the move? Puddle makes it easy for users to borrow and lend money with friends or loved ones via small, short-term loans. Whether you need extra cash to paint the living room or you want to invest in a home security system, Puddle is designed to help you manage personal loans for a period between 3 and 6 months.

Enjoy Your New Home

You never know what kind of twists and turns life can throw at you after becoming a homeowner. In the event of an emergency, it’s best to have a fully stocked physical and financial toolbox to help keep your life and finances on track.




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