Tips For Renting A Room In Your Home

If you’ve been thinking about renting out a room in your home for a while for one reason or another, there’s no better time than now.  Plenty of men and women are seeking to rent a room because it is cheaper than an apartment and it also gives them access to a whole house instead of a tiny apartment.  Renting a room out also helps you financially, which can help you breathe a sigh of relief each month.

Here are some tips for you to consider if you do in fact rent a room out:

Research what other rooms are renting for per month

Take some time to check the newspaper or internet sites like Craigslist to see what other people are charging renters per month. You can also see how they word their ad to aid you in writing yours.

Prepare your room

Decide on what room you want to rent out. Hopefully it will have its own bathroom, but if not, some renters won’t mind sharing with the owner.  You may want to move your room into a smaller bedroom if the master bedroom has a bath and you want to offer that to renters.  Be sure that the room is clean and looks appealing.

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Home Improvement Projects That Will Increase Your Homes Value

As a homeowner who might want to sell your home one day, there is a good chance you’ll want to know how you can increase your home’s value by completing affordable home improvement projects.  With more and more people feeling like they have to stay in their home longer due to sluggish real estate activity, there is an increased desire for home improvements that give owners the biggest bang for their buck.

When it comes to home improvement projects, it is a good idea to know what is actually worth the investment, because truth be told some projects don’t really add much, if any value to your home.

Here are some helpful home improvement projects that will certainly increase the value of your home.

Give the paint an overhaul

One of the best ways to get a nice return is to give your home a fresh coat of paint. This goes for inside as well as outside.  Inside, turn boring, dull colors into exciting, bright colors to get the attention of potential home buyers.  Of course you can use natural tones like shades of beige, grey, and white, but don’t forget that a splash of radiant color here and there goes a long way.  Use a low-VOC paint, as it is environmentally friendly and better for your indoor air quality.

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Five Money-Saving Tips for a Cheap Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen is, by far, the most expensive room in the house unless you happen to have a state-of-the-art home theater to rival the effect of a typical IMAX theater experience.  Since most of us do not have the room or the money to invest in such extravagance, let’s be practical and consider the kitchen as the room of greatest cost to build and outfit with the conveniences of twenty-first century living.

We may spend more of our waking hours in the kitchen, so its use sees more wear and tear than other rooms.  The necessity to remodel and upgrade our kitchen will occur before any other room with the possible exception of a bathroom.  This will always mean an expense, but we should be able to achieve a cheap kitchen remodel with some money-saving tips that will be an envious experience.

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How To Bid On A Home With Multiple Offers

When you have found the home of your dreams, I am sure you want to do whatever it takes to have your offer accepted so you can enjoy what is to come.  What about when there are multiple offers? What can you do to increase your chances of securing the home?  Here are some valuable tips that will help you land that house you have been dreaming of.

Bidding on a Home with Multiple Offers

Use cash if you can

If you have the cash, make a cash offer because sellers are more apt to sell to cash buyers than those who are working with lenders.

Get pre-approved for a loan

Be sure that you have been pre-approved for the loan amount of your offer.  If you do not, it could hold up your bid and the sellers may go with another bid.

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10 Ways To Reduce Your Energy Bill

No one likes to get a high power bill in the mail, so if you are looking for ways to reduce your energy bill, there are plenty of easy things you can do in order to do so.  Here are 10:

Adjust your thermostat

If you adjust your thermostat in the winter and summer by just a couple of degrees, you will be using less energy to heat and cool your home.  In the winter, turn the dial to 68 and in the summer, turn the dial to 72.  This may save you up to about $100 per year!

Adjust the blinds and curtains

For sunny, hot days, close your blinds and curtains to keep the sun’s rays out of your home. On cold, sunny days, go ahead and leave them open to allow for some of the sun’s rays to come in. For the winter, you could also put plastic up over the windows to keep some of the cold out.

Have your HVAC checked each year

Every year have an HVAC professional come and check out your air conditioner and heater to be sure they are running efficiently. If you skip this, they could be costing you extra money if they are in need of some TLC.

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The Best Time of the Year To Buy Large Appliances

Did you know that there are certain times of the year that are better to buy large appliances?  Of course, if your appliance goes out, you most likely need one right away, but should you have the option of waiting for a certain time of the year, it’s best if you know when that might be.

Most people run their appliances all the way until they die, but if you happen to know that your appliance is on the fritz, you could go ahead and make the purchase when you know the price of the appliance will be at their lowest. This also goes for appliances that are struggling to do the necessary work, like the dishwasher or refrigerator. If your fridge is working extra hard to keep the inside at 42 degrees, your electric bill might run higher.

Most major appliances

For most major appliances, it is best to purchase them in September and October, as this is the time when the latest models are put out on the floor and the later models are usually discounted a good bit.  You can call around at appliance stores and ask them if this is the case, so that you don’t waste a lot of time going from store to store.

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Seven Green Technologies for Your Home

Advancing technology has contributed greater ease and reduction of expense in both time and money.  It has afforded us the highest standard of living in human existence in every aspect of our lives, including the ability to lessen our impact on the environment.

Here are eight green technologies we have developed that have improved our living conditions and our environment.  There are others, but these eight represent the most simple and inexpensive to those with the greatest impact on reducing our environmental impact, all while making our homes more convenient, energy efficient and comfortable:

LED light bulbs

LED light bulbs may reflect a higher initial expense, but compared to the shorter life of older technology incandescent bulbs, the per-hour consumption of electrical power used by LED light bulbs is much less, making the long-term investment a lower cost.

Typically, their smaller size means that the overall visual impact of our inside and outside lighting can be reduced in size.  Floor, table, wall and ceiling-mounted light fixtures can be far less obtrusive than their incandescent counterparts.  LED light bulbs provide a wider range of light frequencies, meaning that the light provided is more natural than either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.

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Understanding FHA vs Conventional Loans

When it comes to purchasing a home, no matter if it’s here in San Francisco or somewhere else, you might want to learn the differences between FHA vs conventional loans so that you can get the best loan for you. Loan professionals state that it is not as easy to get a mortgage loan as it used to be with the unfortunate housing crisis that occurred several years ago.  This is why it is best to understand the ins and outs of the various types of loans available.

FHA Loans

If your credit score is under 600 and you are short on the 10% down payment that is usually standard, look into acquiring an FHA loan.  These loans, normally guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, are usually easier to get approved for and you may only need 3.5% down. The reason they may be easier to obtain is because lenders feel safer issuing them since they are backed by the federal government. Keep in mind though, that you may be required to purchase mortgage insurance, which adds monthly expenses to your budget. If you do have to purchase mortgage insurance, be prepared to pay 1.5% of the loan amount at closing and a 0.5% annual fee. The only way to skip the monthly fees are if you have at least a 20% down payment, in which most people do not have.

FHA loans are more popular for first-time home buyers who simply do not have a high credit score or a lot of money saved for a down payment for a home.

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How to Get Rid of Mold In Your House

Molds are a natural part of the world, serving the important function of helping to breakdown dead organic matter.  However, that process can produce toxic elements that, when outdoors, are perfectly natural and appropriate.  But indoors, that toxicity can be dangerous and life-threatening and needs to be eradicated whenever encountered.

Molds are living organisms that reproduce by tiny spores, virtually invisible, that can travel airborne from their origin and thrive in any relatively moist environment.  They will not survive in an environment void of water or moisture.

How and why does mold grow in a home? 

Mold does not typically present a problem indoors unless exterior mold spores drift inside through open doors or even between the mesh of a window screen and happen to land on a wet or damp spot to thrive and grow and spread.  One distinction of mold is that it does not necessarily require the presence of light in order to thrive.

Mold can present health risks to anyone exposed to them.  Not all molds are toxic, but virtually all are allergenic, causing reactions of sniffles, sneezing and coughing or rash in a variety of degrees in individuals depending on their sensitivity.

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Should I Do It Myself Or Hire A Contractor?

Home improvement projects can be rewarding and fun, but sometimes you might wonder if going the “do it yourself” route or hiring a contractor route is the best way to go.  Maybe you want to build a deck or remodel your kitchen and just can’t decide whether to tackle the project yourself or not.  There are pros and cons to both, especially when it comes to time and money, so the answer will really depend on the ratio of pros vs. cons.

Pros of hiring a contractor


Your time is valuable and chances are you are pretty busy.  If you barely have the time to keep up with your normal daily routines and tasks, then hiring a contractor to complete your project will most likely suit you well. If you have children, chances are you’re really strapped for free time, so in this case hiring a contractor suits both you and your family, as it gives you more time with them.


Chances are you are not a professional carpenter, so when it comes to quality, a contractor will be able to provide better quality and probably do it in considerably less time than you.

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