There are dozens of factors to consider when shopping for a new home -- ranging from property taxes and school district quality to square footage and roof condition. As you may be discovering, balancing your priorities and meeting your family's needs can be an overwhelming process! What's Important to You? While just about everyone factors in daily commuting distance in their decision, other key needs and considerations are often overlooked. There's certainly no "one size fits all" strategy for picking the perfect house, but getting your thoughts down on paper is a good starting point. If you have children or are expecting new arrivals in the near future, your priorities will be a lot different than someone at a later (or earlier) stage in life. For example, you might want to research local hospitals to identify the best maternity care options. Being close to public parks, playgrounds, and nursery schools would also be highly desirable for young families. Depending on your lifestyle, you might also prefer a home that's not too far from restaurants, concert venues, and movie theaters. If physical activity and sports are a big part of your life, then nearness to golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking trails might be worth considering. Other Convenience Factors You may have noticed in perusing real estate ads that many of them mention proximity to major highways, public transportation, and local airports. Whether your goal is to explore the region or simply navigate your way to doctors' appointments, job interviews, shopping centers, or business meetings, access to a variety of transportation options can make life a lot less stressful. By clarifying the features and conveniences in a home that are most important to you, your overall satisfaction with your final choice will be a lot higher. That's not to say that you shouldn't stay somewhat flexible in your requirements. Virtually all real estate purchases involve a few trade-offs and compromises. For example, if an urban lifestyle appeals to you, then a two-car garage and large backyard are probably not going to be part of the package. As far as the actual layout and design of your living space, key features which could make your daily routine easier are a first-floor laundry room, spacious closets, and easy-to clean, energy-efficient windows. For some people, the ideal home may include a rec room, a workshop, and a home office. A lot depends on your past experiences, your goals, and your personal passions. Having the ability to predict future needs will be invaluable in choosing a home that you and your family will be delighted with for years to come. Comparing Features and Amenities When you stop and think about your "wish list," your "must haves", and the dozens of property features you'll be evaluating, it underscores the importance of being methodical and organized. If those two qualifies are not among your personal strengths, don't worry! Your real estate agent can provide you with guidance, checklists, and day-to-day help in evaluating and comparing the many property choices available to you.
Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house. Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase. So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house: 1. Location Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house's location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house. For instance, if you don't own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city. Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you'll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future. 2. Price A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you'll need to consider the house's price before you begin your search for the perfect residence. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you'll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house. Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence. 3. Debt Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you'll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house. To minimize debt, you'll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you're eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year. Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence. Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.
Jade Plants Tough and hardy, succulents are some of the easiest houseplants to grow indoors. While there are hundreds of different varieties of succulents, a tried, and true favorite is the Jade plant (Crassula ovate) which can survive for decades on loving neglect. Native to South Africa, the Jade plant thrives in arid conditions, developing thick fleshy leaves that trap the moisture the plant requires. The Jade plant prefers full filtered sun or semi-shade. The leaves overheat and become brown along the edges when the plant receives hot, direct sunlight A Lucky Plant Individuals applying Feng Shui principles in their home organization and décor, embrace the hardy succulent. The full, round leaves of the Jade plant symbolize health and vitality. The easy care plant is known as a “lucky” or “wealth-attracting” greenery. Grow outdoors on the patio in the summer months and move indoors before the first frost. Jade plants cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. Watering Your Jade Plant Do not overwater or have your Jade plant standing in a dish or tray that traps water. Water only once a month during the dry summer season and every six to eight weeks during the winter months. Jade plants “rest” during the winter and prefer parched soil during this period. Excellent drainage is required, and plants do best in a sandy, gravel soil mixture. If you are transplanting a Jade plant, use a cactus potting soil mixture. If water is allowed to collect around the roots, root rot will occur and kill the plant. If a stem or a few leaves drop off your Jade plant, it is sure sign that it is receiving too much water. Keep an eye on your plant and if leaves start to appear to wilt, it's time for a bit of water. Lighting Jade plants enjoy the sunshine but will tolerate a low light location, Avoid exposing your plant to full noonday sun as leaves can become sunburned and will turn brown on the edge of leaves. Pruning Because the stems and leaves of the Jade plant store water, they can become top heavy, To keep your plant from becoming lopsided or top-heavy, trim back occasionally, Keep your plant from becoming “leggy” by pinching off new buds. Propagation Thriving on neglect, Jade plants are easy to grow as well as to propagate and share. Start new plants by snipping off the tip of a branch. Cut off a piece that is two to three inches long and place it in a container with moist sand or cactus potting soil. Some gardeners cut off a section of stem and leaves and place it on a dry surface to let the cut “heal” and seal over before placing in damp sand to root. Water infrequently and do not disturb the cutting to check for root growth for at least six weeks or more. Repotting Your Jade Plant Jade plants prefer to be somewhat root bound. Do not repot unless you notice roots growing out of the bottom of the container. Jade plants are slow growers, producing small white flowers when grown outdoors but typically does not bloom when cultivated indoors.