Modern Living

Modern Living

Home and real estate topics discussed in detail

What To Do When You Lose a Car Key

Without keys to get your car started, you may be stranded at home or around town. If your keys have gone missing, what are the steps you need to take? There are a few things that can be done to make sure you can get back into your car as soon as possible. The type of key you have determines the best course of action.

Smart Key

This type of key is associated with push-button start cars, where the key needs to be in the car for the engine to start. The most expensive type of car key replacement services Orlando, this key requires towing to your dealership. If the dealer doesn’t have your key in stock, you’ll need to wait for it to be ordered. Once it arrives, it needs to be paired with your car and you’ll be on your way.

Traditional Key

A locksmith can help you with a traditional style key that is lost. They’re able to come out to your location and make a key on the spot if you’re driving a common type of vehicle. For a car that is older or unique, you may need to tow it and wait for a new ignition lock cylinder and key to arrive.

Key Fob

A key fob is used to lock and unlock your doors, but a traditional key is still used in the ignition. If you lose the fob, you can still get into your car with the key. To replace a fob, order the part online. Make sure you choose the correct make, model and year of your car. Once it is delivered, you can program it to work with the doors on your vehicle.

To avoid the hassles of a lost key, make sure you have a spare available at all times before you end up locked out of your car.

What To Look For When Buying a Home

On the search for a new home? Research predicts 7.1 million homes will sell in 2021. There are a lot of people searching for their dream homes. The past couple of years were filled with stress and worry. A new home offers a fresh beginning. 

As you begin your search for your dream home, you may be scrolling through listed properties and examining the floor plan. However, there are many things you must keep in mind when reviewing a home. Meaning, there are apparent signs that a particular home may not be the best choice. Here are a few signs to look for when walking through a new property. 

Problems With The Foundation 

As you walk through a property, examine the walls inside and outside the home. Foundational issues range between $6,000 – $8,500. One of the major signs of foundational problems is through cracks in the walls. If the exterior walls show a crack in a zig-zag formation, the home may have an issue. Likewise, interior cracks appear inside the home; however, they sometimes appear behind wallpaper or furniture. 

Lastly, check the function of doors or windows. If they do not adequately shut with ease, then the foundation is off balance. If you experience any of these signs within the home, it’s time to look for another property. 

What Is That Smell? 

When a home appears on the market, sellers will do everything they can to make it appear livable. Air fresheners are typically used to make the house smell beautiful. However, those smells can be hiding something. 

Pay close attention to each room of the house. It may sound odd to smell the entire house, but it is necessary. If there is a damp type of smell, it is a cause for alarm. Mold is described to smell musty, like the odor of rotten wood. Mold damage to a home is not worth the purchase. 

Sometimes mold is not the culprit, but other scents may be present in the home, such as cigarette smoke, pet accidents, or rotting wood. Make sure you take a good sniff around the new house to catch any odd odors. 

Unseen Signs 

Sometimes a homeowner does not have the resources to keep up the home. This results in the neglect of minor repairs. Please make sure you work with every appliance in the house and check its functions. Flip light switches, turn on faucets, turn on the heater, check the air vents, or inspect the paint. These minor touches sound small, but if any of these functions are broken, it leaves a lot of work to be done by you. Test out the appliances in the home before making a purchase. 

Buying A Whole New Home

Sometimes a home does not call for you. And you do not have to settle in a home that you do not love. If you bought a home with foundational problems, mold, or broken appliances, you might need to gut out the whole house. Rebuilding a home is just as exciting as buying one. A whole home remodel offers unlimited freedom. You choose the design, layout, and every aesthetic choice is yours. No matter what you choose, whether it is a home that is turn-key ready or a whole home remodel, make sure you make it yours.

Benefits of House Cleaning Services

Do you find it hard to keep your home clean? Do the dishes pile up? Does the laundry pile up? Is there always mud and dirt on the floor? If so, using cleaning services could help you. Keep reading to learn some benefits of hiring cleaning services for your home. 

You’re Busy 

This is probably a common reason. Many people might not have the time to wash dishes, vacuum the floor, scrub the sink, or do the laundry regularly. If you are career-oriented, have a demanding job, or work long hours, you might not have much time to spend on cleaning. On the other hand, maybe you have a large family to take care of. Perhaps you’re always running back and forth to your kids’ sports practices and dance recitals. If any of these scenarios sound like you, hiring house cleaning services Marietta GA can benefit you tremendously. 

You Want to Spend More Time Doing Other Things 

Cleaning your home is necessary for a comfortable living environment. However, cleaning can also be very annoying when you would rather be doing something else with your time. Maybe you want to go to dinner with your family but you have to clean the bathroom. Perhaps you want to go to the movies with friends but you have to clean the kitchen. No one wants to miss out on a fun Saturday night because they have to clean their home. Using cleaning services can clear your schedule so that you have more time to do things that you enjoy.  

You Don’t Know How or Don’t Want To 

Maybe you don’t know how to clean your house. Maybe you were never taught how to, or maybe you forgot how. While you could take the time to learn, maybe you just don’t feel like it. On the other hand, maybe you do know how to clean your home, but you simply don’t want to. However, you likely don’t want to live in a filthy or smelly house either. Hiring cleaning services can make sure your house is cleaned without you even lifting a finger.  

Top 3 Ways To Keep the Heat in During the Winter

As the temperature starts to drop, you likely notice that your energy bill starts to go up. This rise in cost is likely because you have areas of your home that allow the cold in and the heat out. Here are some ways you can keep your house warm and your bill down all winter. 

Replace the Weather Stripping

Over time weather stripping can get pulled away or start to wear out. When this happens, the warm air in your home is quickly released. Even a tiny gap in your door frame can let a tremendous amount of heat out of your home. If you notice that you can see light coming through the gaps around windows and doors, then you need to replace the weather stripping.

Make sure you choose something appropriate for the space. If you have a large gap in your door frame, you’ll want to go for a thicker material, such as tubular rubber or vinyl, that seals the space completely. Also, if you have the option, secure the weather stripping with nails to prevent it from easily pulling loose. 

Update the Insulation

Most houses rely on fiberglass insulation because of how affordable it is. However, it isn’t very durable, and it usually needs to be replaced every 10-15 years. If you haven’t replaced your insulation in a long time, that could be why your home feels cold. 

You can check your insulation levels by simply looking at the insulation. If you can see any part of the floor joists, then you need new insulation. If your insulation is so full and thick that you can’t see any bit of the wood, then it’s still at a good level. 

Close the Fireplace Flue

When you aren’t burning a fire, make sure you close the fireplace flue. An open flue can let out as much warm air as an open 48-inch window. So, if you routinely forget to close the flue after you have a fire, then you’re throwing a lot of money away on your heating costs. 

Top 10 Mistakes First Time Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to purchasing your first home, the excitement can take hold. It can feel all too surreal to even think about owning your home. However, many first-time buyers make mistakes that are easy to avoid. So, we are going to check out the mistakes first-time buyers make and how to avoid them.

Searching For a Home Before Securing a Mortgage

Many first-time buyers choose to look for a home before securing their mortgage. Some will even make an offer, only to be disappointed when they discover that they cannot afford it. Don’t waste time looking for the wrong homes if you don’t know what you can borrow. It wastes your time and vendor time too.

So, before you begin looking for homes and falling in love with properties, it makes sense to ensure that you have a mortgage approved.

They Only Speak With One Lender

First-time buyers can seem too keen to begin looking. They then rush and get a mortgage from the first lender they communicate come across.  Therefore, they could be selling themselves short and even lose money at the same time. If you look around and compare, then you might find better deals and rates. Therefore, aim to compare three lenders and attempt to get quotes on the same day as rates change quickly.

Purchase A Home They Cannot Afford

It’s all too easy to purchase a home that you love and a home that pushes your budget to its limits. However, choosing to go too far is never a good idea as it makes sense to stick as close to your budget as possible. If you buy a home that you cannot afford, you will have to make cuts elsewhere while you might find that you cannot make those all-important payments. So, it’s crucial to identify how much you can afford instead of looking at the amount you can borrow. If you can borrow $400,000, it doesn’t mean you can afford the repayments.  So it pays to do your research.

First-time Buyers Rush

As they are keen to get into their new home, they tend to rush.  It could prove costly further down the line. Many fail to plan, and that causes problems. When you go rushing into things, you might not save enough for closing costs or enough for a down payment. Therefore, it makes sense to look at the home buying timeline in advance because it can take a lot of time to solve problems like saving money and even repairing your poor credit rating.

Use all Their Savings

It can be too tempting to use all of your savings on your down payment, and this is a mistake that many first-time buyers make. Sure, it makes sense to pay as much as possible, and some do this to avoid paying mortgage insurance. However, all this does is leave people without any savings. The right thing to do is aim to have around six months’ worth of living expenses saved after you close. Covering the cost of mortgage insurance isn’t ideal, but using all of your savings will leave you in a precarious position should an emergency arise.

A Lack of Attention to Credit

A mortgage lender will delve into your credit report when applying for a mortgage, and they will ensure that everything is in place before closing. They will also check that your financial position hasn’t changed. If you take out new loans or credit cards, then this could prevent you from getting approval. So, try to keep your finances as they are from the moment you get your preapproval through to closing. Avoid loans and credit cards as this could cause problems when it comes to obtaining a mortgage.

Emotions Cloud Decision Making

Purchasing a home is a big decision and one that you have to get right. It’s where you will put down roots and create memories. However, it can be too easy to become too attached to a home and then make decisions based on emotions. With this approach, you might overpay for a home or push your budget. You should pick a budget and stick to it while avoiding falling in love with a home that’s not yours.

Assume a 20 Percent Down Payment is Required

There is a myth that you must put down a 20% down payment. It will help avoid paying for mortgage insurance, but some buyers don’t want to put down this much or cannot afford to. The average down payment is around 12% and even drops down to 6% for first-time buyers.

If you delay purchasing your first home because you want to save up to 20%, other financial goals might not be possible. It includes making the most of your retirement savings or even increasing your emergency fund. It makes sense to look at your mortgage options as some will enable you to put down a payment of 3%.

Looking for the Perfect Home

Everyone wants the perfect home, but they rarely exist. Everyone has a list of things they would like in their home, but ticking every box is almost impossible. Taking this approach could result in you missing out on the right home. It is likely to limit your search and could even result in your overpaying. So, keep an open mind and see what’s on the market but prepare to work hard when looking.

Not Understanding the Costs of Owning a Home

If you want to own a home, you need to be able to afford to run it. The price you pay for a home is just the beginning, but many first-time buyers fail to look at the other costs. It can include property taxes, mortgage insurance, repairs and maintenance as well as utilities. If you don’t have enough to cover these costs, then it could leave you in trouble. Therefore, it makes sense to crunch numbers and work out the costs to ensure your monthly income can cover the cost of bills.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-time buyer or you are looking for Homes For sale in Alexandria MN each element of purchasing or selling a home is crucial, and that’s why it makes sense to do your research and make the right decisions.



3 Tips for Applying for a Mortgage

Applying for a mortgage is exciting because it usually means you’re going to purchase a new home. Whether or not you can purchase this home likely hinges on getting approved for a home loan, so you want to do whatever it takes to ensure this approval. These tips can help you get approved for a mortgage, so you can successfully transition into homeownership.

1. Work on Your Credit Score

One thing every mortgage lender Hoboken NJ will look at is your credit score. Your credit score is just one piece of information lenders look at determine if you will be a reliable borrower. If your credit score isn’t very good, spend some time improving it before you apply for a mortgage. You can do this by making all your payments on time and limiting the amount of debt you take out.

2. Pay Off Your Debts

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will look at your debt-to-income ratio. Most lenders want you to fall within a certain range before they consider giving you a loan. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, spend some time paying down your debts. Start with the debts that have the highest interest rates first and then go from there.

3. Be Honest

Your mortgage lender will ask for all kinds of information from you while you are applying for a home loan. Be completely honest when you fill out any forms or submit any type of verification. If you are dishonest on your application, you could automatically be disqualified from getting a home loan. You should also get all information to your lender quickly, so they can process your loan as soon as possible.

Even if you can’t get a mortgage right away, don’t be discouraged. Keep working on your finances and talk to your lender about what you can do to ensure you get approved.

3 Tips To Modernize Your Kitchen for Beauty and Functionality

Is your kitchen out of date and dragging you down? If you’re looking for easy ways to make your kitchen appear more modern and add a cheery vibe, these three tips could help make your vision come true. Here’s how to take your kitchen from purely functional to truly aesthetically pleasing.

1. Replace Old and Outdated Kitchen Appliances

One element that can drag down the look and feel of any kitchen is outdated appliances. If the appliances in your kitchen have never been changed and their style hasn’t kept up wit the times, it could be the right moment for a new oven installation Washington DC. Whether you need a new microwave, oven, refrigerator or dishwasher, the right appliances could help give your kitchen a facelift.

2. Upgrade Your Cabinets and Change Your Color Scheme

If your cabinets look old-fashioned or don’t go with the color scheme in the rest of your kitchen, a swap could be in order. You can upgrade your cabinets, upgrade your walls and furniture or a combination of both. You can make a few changes one at a time and eventually achieve a brand-new look. For example, you could start by:

  • Painting the kitchen walls
  • Changing the flooring
  • Painting the cabinets or get new cabinets
  • Replacing the countertops
  • Swapping out the backsplash

3. Add Key Pieces of Kitchen Décor

Small decorations can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen. Select your favorite pieces for display throughout the room. Some fun décor ideas to consider putting up include:

  • Mini signs with inspiring slogans
  • Fresh-smelling potpourri and air fresheners
  • Brightly colored hand towels and accessories

When it comes to updating your kitchen, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve an edgy and modern look. Simply swapping out your outdated appliances, upgrading your cabinets, finding a new color scheme and strategically adding in a few pieces of décor could make all the difference.

Top Things To Do Before Moving Out of Your House

One of the cool things about buying a new house is anticipating making new memories in a new space. Although you’re looking forward to this new chapter, it’s important to make sure you’re closing out the previous one correctly. Here are some things you need to do before you move out of your current residence.

The Great Purge

Changing residences is a great opportunity to get rid of junk. If you have a lot of items of worth, consider donating them to a local charity or have a garage sale and make some money in the process. Find time to go through each room to determine which things don’t need to follow you to the new place. Consider renting dumpsters for junk removal Cincinnati for an easy way to deal with large bulky trash.

Bills, Bills, Bills

One of the things you should do before you leave is to notify your utility providers of a change in address. With some providers like a cell phone company or cable company, you just need to notify them of a change in address which can be easily done online. For water, gas and electricity, you may need to close your current account and start a new one with the same providers or new ones altogether.

A New Address

The United States Postal Service allows you to change your address online so that your mail is forwarded to the new place. Keep in mind that this service only lasts so long, so you should register your new address with any subscription or billing services that you use. If your current place will have new residents, it might be a good idea to leave your new address for any future deliveries that accidentally show up at the old place.

Starting a new phase in life in a new place can be exciting. You may be anticipating the move so much that you forget to do some key things in advance. Before you move, get rid of the junk and notify those that matter of the new address.

Title Insurance: What is It and Why Do You Need It

Every homeowner will want to cushion their homes against any sudden or unforeseen losses. For this reason, homeowner’s insurance has become a vital consideration. Yet, rarely do people talk about yet another critical insurance policy—title insurance. Perhaps you have yet to hear what title home insurance is. Here are a few insights to guide you.

What is Title Insurance?

A title insurance policy is a home insurance policy that helps cover you against third-party claims on your newly acquired property. Most of the protected claims are often unforeseen or did not arise before closing the real estate transaction. For instance, if the previous owner did not pay their construction company, you get all the protection you deserve from such claims.

Usually, you’ll get this title insurance after carrying out a thorough title search. A title company does this title search, and it is often initiated by a mortgage lender. The goal of this search is to identify any title defects before closing the deal. Some of these defects include easements, encumbrances, and liens.

As such, this title insurance covers the insured against issues that were uncovered during the transaction. Some of the problems covered include the following.

  • Zoning laws that restrict you from living on the property
  • Structures built on the land without your consent
  • Improperly calculated taxes and rates
  • Fraud and identity theft

Types of Title Insurance

There are two types of title insurance: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance. However, they are both initiated or bought by one party. Here is a breakdown of what each of them brings to the table.

  • Owner’s Title Insurance: An owner’s title insurance covers the homeowner against claims made by third parties after closing a real estate transaction. This policy cushions the owner against claims that were not unearthed during the negotiation process.
  • Lender’s Title Insurance: This title insurance protects the lender against any title issues on your property. You’ll also need to acquire this insurance policy whenever you want to get a mortgage.

You’ll purchase these two insurance policies during the real estate transaction process. Remember, you will part with over $1000 for this policy, depending on the property’s value. This cost is about 0.1% of the home’s value. Fortunately, it is a one-off payment.

Do You Need Title Insurance?

It would be best if you got comprehensive title insurance. While it is a little too costly, this policy offers you significant value for money. Here are a few reasons why you need this title insurance.

  • A title insurance Florida policy is one of the most critical documents you’ll need when looking for a mortgage. Investing in this policy will often make the process much more seamless.
  • This policy protects you against various unforeseen or unearthed issues. For instance, you’ll get protection against boundary disputes, conflicting wills, liens from contractors, encroachments, and property survey errors.

No one wants to lose their newly acquired properties because of unearthed errors during the transaction. Investing in this title insurance is one of the best moves to consider if you are to protect yourself against such.