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When Should You Check the Foundation of Your Home?

As a homeowner, there are many types of maintenance that you perform on your property to ensure that it is safe and that it retains value. However, many property owners often forget about checking their foundation. They wrongly assume that they will notice any major changes. This is not always the case. It is essential for a foundation inspection to be a part of your regular home maintenance. This is the only way that you can avoid major foundation problems. If you are proactive about checking your foundation, you have the ability to notice any changes before they become a major issue.
Here is everything that you need to know about checking the foundation of your home:

Natural Shifting
It is important to realize that as your home ages the foundation will most likely move slightly. This is common and completely normal, but only if the shift is minimal. If your foundation is moving a substantial amount, this is not normal and is not something that should be ignored. If there are big changes in the shift of the foundation over short periods of time, this could be a tell tale sign that there is a larger issue. It is important to have your foundation checked regularly to ensure that any shifts are noticed right away and can be evaluated.

Checking the Grade
One important aspect of checking the foundation of your home involves checking the grade around your home. By looking at the soil that surrounds your home, it is possible to tell how much the foundation is moving. If the grade around your home is too flat, this could result in flooding that can impact the foundation.

Foundation Walls
It is also important that the foundation walls are evaluated when the foundation of your home is checked. This means that the walls of your home need to be inspected for cracks. Cracks within the walls are one of the signs of major foundation issues. When the walls begin to crack, it is apparent that you have a foundation issue in most cases. This means that having the foundation walls inspected regularly is important. The cracks might be vertical or horizontal and could be large or small. All cracks need to be looked at by professionals with experience.
It is important that you only have the foundation of your home checked by professionals that are leaders within the industry.

How to Cut Down Your Home Insurance Costs

When you buy a new home there are many new expenses that you quickly learn of. You have to pay for property taxes and even obtain home insurance. Home insurance is designed to offer protection in the event of an accident or disaster, but it can be quite costly. If you are looking to save on your home insurance costs, you do have a number of different options to consider. Some methods will allow for more savings than others.
Here are some of the best available ways to cut down your home insurance costs:

Only Insure the Home
One way that you can save on home insurance costs is to simply insure only the home and not the property. Your property is not at risk of theft, which means that it is not necessary that you insure your property. Winds and fire do not have the ability to completely destroy your property either, so the value of the land does not need to be considered when you are insuring your home. When you are deciding the amount of insurance that your home requires, it is a good idea to not include the value of the land itself. It is possible for your insurance agent to give you an estimate of what the actual land is worth and this can be excluded from your coverage.

Only Insure What You Have
Another important tip for cutting back on home insurance costs is to only insure what you have. This might seem pretty straightforward, but you would be surprised at the amount of homeowners that have coverage they do not need. There is an automatic protection limit for personal property in most insurance policies. It is possible to have this amount adjusted. You can actually lower this amount to help you save money. Make sure that you are only paying for what you actually have.

Be Safe
Making safety and protection a priority around your home will also allow you to save on the cost of home insurance. By simply having newer locks installed or smoke detectors around your home, you have the ability to cut back on home insurance costs. The discounts that you can get for making your home safer can really add up overtime. This is a great way to increase the protection and security o your home while also helping you to save some cash along the way.

What Are the Messiest Parts of Your Home?

Your home should be a place that you are comfortable and can sit back and relax without worry. However, there are certain spaces within your home that can easily fill with clutter. If you are looking to make your home more organized and stylish, it is a good idea to focus on the rooms within your home that are most prone to becoming messy. Since you have so many possessions, it is easy for rooms within your home to become overrun by different items.
Here are a few of the messiest parts of your home that you should begin organizing:

Closet
If there is one place in your home that you stuff items you no longer want to deal with, it is your closet. Your closet is designed to keep all of your clothes, shoes and personal items organized, but it is easy for it to become really cluttered. The size of your closet will often determine how much stuff you have filing up space. If you have a large closet, this often gives you more space to store items. Closet space is designed for storing things that you do not always use, but there needs to be a limit to the amount of things that you stuff away. It is a good idea to clean out your closet space a few times a year and get rid of things that you no longer use. This will keep your closet from looking so cluttered and messy.

Living Room
Your living room is most likely the space within your home where everyone congregates. This means that everyone brings in personal items and simply leaves them all over. You most likely have a living room that is filled with toys, magazines, blankets, shoes and many other items. If you want to keep your living room from looking so messy, you need to have containers for different items within this space. This means that you have a mat designated for shoes, bins for toys and bins that you can store extra blankets and throws in.

Bathroom
It is easy for your bathroom to look a bit messy when it is cluttered with towels and grooming items. The best way to make it look clean is to have bins in place and storage space set aside where you can place all of your things and keep them organized.

Can You Own an Apartment?

A home is one of the biggest purchases that you will make during your lifetime. This means that for such a substantial purchase, you need to be looking for available ways for you to save money. Since the economy is already on rocky ground, it is more important than ever before that you look to cut costs when you are buying a home. Many of the home buying cost cutting tips are really easy to follow.
Here are some of the best ways to cut costs when buying a home:

Can You Do Your Own Repairs?
Many people look to buy homes that require repairs because they feel that they can save a lot of money. However, before you buy a home that needs a lot of work, it is important that you adequately evaluate your handy man skills and the amount of repairs that your home requires. If you are looking to buy a home that needs any substantial repairs, you will most likely have to pay big money for a professional handy man. This means that you can save big by simply looking to purchase an affordable home that requires no repairs. This is the best way to get access to big savings.

Look Into Foreclosures
You can also find out about the best deals on the real estate market by looking into homes that have been foreclosed on. This means that you should inquire about foreclosures and short sales before you begin looking at homes that are listed. These are the homes that are often priced most affordably and will allow you to get access to really substantial savings. You can get the most value if you buy a home in foreclosure.

Mortgage Rates
When you get approved for a mortgage you might assume that this is all that matters. However, the mortgage rate that you are approved for can mean a big difference to the total amount that you pay for your home. Shopping around for a lower mortgage rate has the ability to save you a lot of money. Since you will be paying off your mortgage for many years, the rate that you are paying will add up over time. Even just a slightly lower mortgage rate has the ability to save you a lot of cash. Always look around for the most competitive mortgage rate that you can find.

How to Handle Neighbors That Party Too Much

If you live in an apartment complex, condo or duplex where you are closely located to neighbors, it can be difficult to deal with noise issues. Noise can keep you from concentrating on your work during the day or getting good sleep at night. It can be a major pain to deal with loud neighbors, but neighbors that party too much can be a huge hassle. If you are tired of hearing the loud music and constant noise that comes from your neighbors residence each and every weekend, there are a few different ways that you can choose to deal with this issue.
Here are the best ways to handle neighbors that party too much:

Talk to You Neighbor
The first thing that you should always try to do involves speaking directly with your neighbor. This is often the first action that you should take and might be enough to stop some of the constant partying. You should be polite and try not to be confrontational when you approach your neighbor with your concerns. If you start attacking, this will put your neighbor on the defensive., Just simply tell them how the noise from their parties is disturbing you and how they can change things for the better. You might ask them to turn down music or to stop the parties after a specific time of night. If you are a grown up about the issue, you may be able to end the late night partying by simply speaking directly to your neighbor and asking them nicely.

Go to Management With Complaint
If you give your neighbor a chance to correct the issue and see no change, it is time that you take your concerns directly to management. This means that you need to communicate to the owner of the property what your issue is. You should give them details of the times that the partying occurs, the frequency and how loud the parties get. You should be as accurate as possible to ensure that the manager of the property has enough information to go on. It might be a good idea to check your lease before speaking with your property manager and see if there are set quite times. If this is the case, your neighbors are in violation of the lease and the property manager has every right to take action.

Is Hoarding Against Rental Policy?

There are some people that have a very difficult time in throwing just about anything away. Some people simply do not like to let anything go to waste, but there are some people that take this inclination to save items to extremes. Hoarding involves keeping things in your home in a way that creates almost a living hazard area. This means that hoarding can be a major issue for property owners that rent to tenants. It is important that property owners understand what their rights are when they have hoarders occupying their properties. Allowing a hoarder to continue their cycle of accumulating items will only lead to a bigger problem down the line. This means that you need to be aware if hoarding is against rental policies.
Here are what you need to know about how property owners can handle hoarders:

Mental Disorder
It is important as a property owner to recognize that hoarding is actually classified as a mental disorder. This means that once you realize that a tenant is hoarding you can’t just simply evict them from the home to get rid of the clutter and repair the damage that is caused. This means that when hoarders are renters they are actually protected under the Fair Housing Act. This means that hoarding is not against policy. Someone that is found to be mentally unstable has rights and can’t simply be kicked out of a property. This means that you can’t evict a tenant for hoarding in most instances, but you typically do have the ability to evict them for a violation of the lease in another way.

Reasons for Eviction
Many tenants that are hoarding are in violation of other lease agreements. This means that the most common grounds that you have for eviction are typically damage to the property, blocking emergency exits to the property, causing interference to the sprinkler system, having perishable items stored in a way that attracts rodents or having animals. These are all grounds for eviction that can be related to people that hoard. This means that it is possible to evict a hoarder without being in violation of the Fair Housing Act. People that hoard are normally in violation of many aspects of the lease agreement.
It might not be against policy to hoard, but the results of hoarding are generally against policy and are grounds for eviction for most tenants.

How Does Section 8 Work?

Housing might seem like a necessity for most people, for this reason there are programs in place that are designed to make housing more accessible to families and individuals that are on fixed incomes. Section 8 is a housing program that was first introduced by Richard Nixon in 1974. This is essentially a rental assistance program that is designed for people with low income. Instead of placing people or families with housing needs only in housing projects, Section 8 allows people requiring rental assistance to rent in privately owned properties. In order to be able to take advantage of the benefits that are possible through the Section 8 program, people must meet the qualifications.
Here are some of the basics of Section 8 and how it works:

Qualification
The thing that is most important with Section 8 housing is the qualification list. This means that the only way that you can participate in the Section 8 housing program is if you meet the minimum requirements. This means that not just everyone has the ability to be eligible for rental assistance. The amount of rental help that you receive through Section 8 is dependent on the amount of gross income that you have. This means that people that have less income will qualify for more rental assistance. There are minimum qualifications that you have to meet. This means that if you make too much money, you will qualify for no rental assistance. The actual qualifications can range and do change from time to time, but it is essentially having an income that is not higher than half of the median income of homes in the region where you live. If you meet this qualification, you are most likely eligible to participate in Section 8 rental assistance.

Applying
In order to be a part of the Section 8 program and get help with your rent, you must apply. This means that they only way to get rental assistance is if you first determine if you meet the qualifications and then if you go through the application process. Just because you meet the requirements and have a low enough income does not mean that you will be approved right away. The amount of time that it takes to get a voucher for rental assistance can be long. This means that it is important that you begin the application process as soon as possible. This is the only way that you can ensure you are receiving rental assistance.

Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

If you rent a home or apartment, there are a number of things that you don’t have to worry about. When you are a renter, most of the upkeep and maintenance related to the property falls to the landlord. This means that you have a lot less worries. If you have plumbing problem the easy fix is to call the land lord to take care of it. However, if your rental property becomes burglarized or damaged by fire, it is important to understand that you are responsible for insuring your own belongings. This means that just because your landlord has an insurance policy, this does not mean that your possessions are protected.
Here is more information about renter insurance and why it is worth it:

What is Renters Insurance?
This is a type of insurance policy that is made available to renters. It is designed for people that live in an apartment or home that they do not own. Since you do not own the property that you are living in, this means that you do not have a typical home insurance policy. When you do not have a home insurance policy, the only way to make sure that your belongings are protected is to obtain renters insurance. Renters insurance is specifically designed to be just what tenants require. Even though homeowners insurance policies are popular, renters insurance is not something that many tenants obtain. Most people that rent choose to not get renters insurance, but this is not ideal.

Importance
It is important to be aware of the coverage benefits that renters insurance can provide. In a number of ways, the coverage offered by renters insurance is similar to the coverage obtained through a traditional homeowner policy. This means that the personal items that you own are protected in the event of fire, smoke, lightening, vandalism, windstorm or water damage. Possessions are classified as all the items that you own from electronic to clothes. You can also get access to liability coverage and expenses in the event of damage.

Difference
There are differences between renters insurance and traditional homeowners policies. It is important to note that only the property inside of the apartment or home is covered through a renter policy. This is something that you need to fully understand before you get a renters insurance policy to cover the items that you keep within your rental property.