Jeremy McElwain's Blog
There's a lot of benefit to be had from increasing the amount of natural light that enters your home. Scientists have long linked natural daylight to improved mood and productivity. You just feel better when you regularly work or relax in a room filled with light from the sun. Sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms, too, meaning you sleep better and feel more rested when you wake up. Increasing natural light sources in your home can also help lower your monthly utility bill and raise your home's resale value. Here's what we recommend.
Ditch the Heavy Drapes
Drapes made from heavy fabrics and liners may be nixing your natural light. Replace them with solar window films instead. Solar window films won't damage your windows, and they block up to 99 percent of harmful UV rays, while allowing natural light to stream through. You won't have to worry about fading carpets or upholstery, and solar window film also reflects the heat from the sun, so your space doesn't become an instant sauna.
If privacy is a concern, install blinds or window shades that can be closed at night. You can even purchase frosted solar window films that provide privacy without darkening your room.
Install a Skylight
If a small renovation project is in the budget, consider adding a skylight to a dark, gloomy room to bring it into the light. Skylights keep things private while increasing access to natural light. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a skylight runs around $1,500. That's a small price to pay for added light and ventilation in a dark room. Even better -- adding a professionally installed, energy-efficient skylight can increase your home's resale value. There may even be a tax credit available for homeowners who choose skylights that are solar powered.
Use Reflective Wall Colors
Did you know many paints have an LVR? That's a light reflectance value, and the higher the number, the better the paint color is at reflecting light around your space. When you paint walls in a color that's highly reflective, (white has and LRV of 100. Black has an LRV of zero) your room appears brighter. So, even if your room has only one window, using a light paint color can help bounce that natural light into all the corners.
If you're stuck feeling gloomy when you spend time in a dark den or bedroom, try letting a little light shine in. You might be amazed at how easy it is to transform a space from one you dread to one you highly desire. Use these three easy tricks, and you'll find out just how easy it is to lighten up a little.
Need to relocate from one address to another? In all likelihood, you'll need to pack a variety of small kitchen appliances before moving day arrives. Luckily, we're here to teach you what it takes to safely and effectively pack up your microwave, toaster and other small kitchen appliances.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices for packing small kitchen appliances.
1. Clean and Disassemble Your Appliances
Before you start packing, spend some time cleaning your small kitchen appliances. This will ensure your appliances are neat and tidy prior to storing them in assorted moving boxes.
Unplug a kitchen appliance prior to cleaning. Then, allocate the necessary time and resources to wipe down your appliance's interior and exterior. After you clean your kitchen appliances, make sure they are completely dry before you pack them.
In addition, remove any loose parts from your small kitchen appliances. This will allow you to secure all associated appliance components in moving boxes.
2. Choose an Appropriate Moving Box
If possible, use a small kitchen appliance's original box for moving day. The appliance will fit perfectly in this box, thereby reducing the risk of damage while your appliance is in transit.
For those who failed to save the original boxes for their appliances, there is no need to worry. You can purchase moving boxes in a wide range of sizes, ensuring you can find a moving box that will hold any small kitchen appliance.
In most instances, small and medium-sized moving boxes are ideal for myriad kitchen appliances. Use plenty of packing or sealing tape on the bottom of these moving boxes to ensure the boxes won't fall apart. Also, prepare these moving boxes with packing paper to further protect your small kitchen appliances.
3. Wrap Your Appliances in Bubble Wrap or Packing Paper
When it comes to small kitchen appliances, it always is better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you should wrap each of these appliances in bubble wrap or packing paper and secure it with packing tape. This will help you minimize the risk that the appliance will get damaged during your move.
If you need extra help with moving small kitchen appliances or other items, it never hurts to reach out to a professional moving company for assistance, either. This moving company will learn about your moving needs and help you plan accordingly.
Lastly, if you require assistance with buying or selling a house, it pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying or home selling journey. Furthermore, if you are uncertain about the best ways to prepare for moving day, a real estate agent can offer expert recommendations.
Take the guesswork out of packing your small kitchen appliances – use the aforementioned best practices, and you should have no trouble getting your small kitchen appliances packed up and ready to go for moving day.
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It’s only a hassle if you’re not in control. There are a lot of ways to do investment property wrong, but here are the ways to do it right so that it’s an asset, not a nuisance.
- Be picky about the property. While you don’t need to purchase anything high-end, always choose something you could live in with no problem. The neighborhood is decent. The roof doesn’t leak. There are no mold or pest issues.
- If you’re not handy, find someone that is to help you out. Houses need maintenance. Taking care of your property is part of the business of ownership.
- Buy extended warranties on the appliances. If something goes wrong, you can get them repaired or replaced instead of having to buy new ones.
- Take charge of the pool care, landscaping, pest control and other services. Your tenants will be happier, and your property will be better for it.
- Have a strong rental contract or lease agreement. Get expert advice so that you’re in compliance with all tenant laws, but don’t leave yourself open to fishy situations.
- Hire a management service if you aren’t able to handle the day-to-day personally. Remember, rental property isn’t mobile, so if your career moves you across the state or across the country, you don’t want to have to sell the rental before you can move.
Owning a rental property is a long term investment. You won’t make your money back in the first year, or even the first several. It’s a long term investment. Don’t plan to live solely on the money unless you can invest in several rental units. But if you do it right, you’ll have a reliable source of passive income that will see you through your retirement years. Eventually, you’ll be able to exit your day job and live on the overage.
Spend time with a real estate professional experienced in buying investment properties. Let them know your long term goals and how you envision your rental property business. They can help you find properties, management services, contractors for repairs and even recommend a pool guy.